Posted: Saturday, June 30th 2012 at 11:46am
Fire officials urge you to use caution with fireworks
By Derreck Booth Editor
CUMMING - Forsyth County fire officials are encouraging northeast Georgians to leave fireworks displays to the pros.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, emergency rooms treated about 8600 people for fireworks related injuries in 2010. Of those, about 1200 were related to sparklers.
While firefighters understand the appeal of shooting your own fireworks, Forsyth County Fire Captain Jason Shivers said they prefer you don't.
"We really would prefer, and any fire department is going to agree with this, that you leave your Fourth of July fireworks activities up to the professionals , enjoy those shows, and try to refrain from doing those personal shows yourself."
Shivers said if you must shoot your own fireworks, "please remember to abide by the state laws, only purchase fireworks legally within the state of Georgia and abide by all of the safety rules and regulations."
The Fourth of July week approaches with dry or drought conditions in our area and high temperatures in the forecast into at least Monday.
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests Supervisor George Bain said the use of all fireworks is prohibited on all national forests and national grasslands.
Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on national grassland and national forest lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays.
Regulations are enforced, and violation is punishable as a misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.
Fireworks Safety Tips:
•Use fireworks outdoors only.
•Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
•Always have water handy (a hose or bucket) or a fire extinguisher.
•Shoot the fireworks on sturdy level ground (asphalt or concrete is best)
•Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
•Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
•Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter, and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
•Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
•Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type. Sparklers can burn in the excess of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.
•Do not ever use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.
•NEVER discard fireworks in the trash - soak them in a bucket of water first!
Source: National Council of Fireworks Safety and Hall County Fire Services
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