While sparklers and similar non-explosive fireworks devices are legal in Georgia, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging citizens to use extreme caution to avoid injuries when using legalized fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.
“Even legal fireworks should only be used with close adult supervision,” Hudgens said. “For the sake of safety and seeing a spectacular display, your best bet is to attend a professional show.”
Hudgens said sparklers and fountains are not classified as fireworks by law and are legal and available for sale or use in Georgia.
He warns that sparklers can burn at temperatures as high as 1800 degrees, and must be used properly and with adult supervision.
Around 8,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for fireworks-related injuries, and most of those incidents involve children.
In a typical year, two-thirds to three-fourths of all fireworks injuries occur during the four-week period surrounding Independence Day. On the Fourth of July itself, fireworks usually start more fires nationwide than all other causes combined.
The sale and use of most consumer types of fireworks, including firecrackers, skyrockets, and cherry bombs, is still illegal in Georgia and punishable by a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.