Officials urge firework safety ahead of 4th of July holiday week - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Officials urge firework safety ahead of 4th of July holiday weekend

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)
(Source: Matt Clegg/WTVM) (Source: Matt Clegg/WTVM)
(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – As the July Fourth holiday approaches, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging residents to use extreme caution to avoid fires and severe injuries when using fireworks this Independence Day.

“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display,” Commissioner Hudgens said. “Each year in the U.S., around 8,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries.”

In 2015, the sale and use of most consumer types of fireworks became legal to use in Georgia.

Pop-up firework shops are opening up all around the Valley offering these fireworks. 
Owner, of T-N-T Fireworks Phil Harris located at the Walmart on Gateway Road talks about avoiding the dangers.

"They are dangerous, and the first rule is children shouldn't be handling them, it should be adults, and adults, use them responsibly. Don't light them, and if they go out, light them again, just assume they are going to blow up," said Harris.

Last year 158 fireworks related incidents were reported across the state. Those incidents include grass, brush, woodland, vehicle, and mobile home fires. 

The Georgia Department of Insurance offers the following fireworks safety suggestions:

  • Purchase fireworks from a licensed fireworks dealer
  • Observe all state laws regarding the use of fireworks
  • Read the labels carefully before igniting any fireworks
  • Ensure that an adult supervises all firework activities
  • Never allow children to ignite fireworks
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Only use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles
  • Never try to relight a firework
  • Have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby
  • Use caution with animals. Excitement, noise, and lights can cause fear and stress

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