The state of Georgia recently lifted the outdoor watering ban, but as the fourth of July holiday approaches, outside activities still increase the possibility of fires. Grilling, cigarettes and fireworks can cause a fire to ignite quickly.
The Marietta Fire Department reminds residents that Georgia law regulates the types of fireworks allowed and offers tips for safe usage.
Novelty fireworks allowed
- sparklers up to 100 grams each; fountains (items that say ‘Emits Showers of Sparks’ up to 200 grams total for multiple tube items or 75 grams for each individual tube
- glow worms
- party poppers
- blank cartridges
- balloons requiring fire underneath to propel them
- sky rockets
- Roman candles
- The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks
- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a device is not marked with the contents, direction and a warning label, do not light it.
- Supervise children around fireworks at all times
- Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks
- Only light one firework at a time and never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
- Never throw fireworks at another person
Firework safety tips for pets
- Never take your pets to fireworks displays. What’s fun for you isn’t necessarily fun for pets. Large crowds and unfamiliar sights and sounds can frighten pets.
- Keep pets indoors if possible, or confined to a secure area so they won’t get scared by fireworks. Leave a TV or radio playing for company if you have to leave the pet alone.
- Don’t leave animals chained outside during fireworks. A scared animal can get tangled in a chain and get injured or break the chain and flee.
- Double-check yard gates to make sure that pets cannot escape
- Make sure all pets are wearing proper identification, including the name and telephone number of their owner
- Never leave pets in a car while you enjoy summer activities. With only hot air to breathe inside the car, your pet can suffer serious health problems, even death, within minutes. Partially opened windows don’t provide sufficient air, but do offer the opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
Two-thirds to three-fourths of all fireworks injuries occur during the four-week period surrounding Independence Day. On a typical July 4 holiday, fireworks are the leading cause of fires, accounting for more outdoor fires in the United States than all other causes of outdoor fires combined. Approximately 7,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for fireworks-related injuries, and most of these incidents involve children.
People who are caught buying, selling or using illegal fireworks will face fines and penalties, Marietta Fire Lieutenant Tim Nalley said. “The sale and use of most types of fireworks, including firecrackers, skyrockets, and cherry bombs are still illegal in Georgia and punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to one year in jail.”
For more information call the Marietta Fire Department at 770-794-5466.