Reminder: Be careful using fireworks at home

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As the July Fourth holiday approaches, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging  Georgia 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,” Hudgens said. “Each year in the U.S., around 11,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries.”

In 2015, the sale and use of most consumer types of fireworks, which include firecrackers, skyrockets, and Roman candles, became legal to use in Georgia. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 200 fireworks injuries per day during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.

Hudgens offers the following fireworks safety suggestions for residents who do choose to use fireworks at home:

  • 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.