Use caution when lighting fireworks - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Use caution when lighting fireworks

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Many of you will celebrate the Fourth of July with family gatherings, cookouts, and of course fireworks. But not everyone knows the regulations and risks associated with fireworks. With south Georgia still suffering through a drought, fireworks safety should be a top priority.

It is a day to remember how our country began. Monday marks the 235th year of our nation's existence. Some folks celebrate on vacation, others stay close to home, but the one activity most people partake in, is the lighting of fireworks. "It's very important to stay safe. You know fireworks can be very dangerous if they're put in the wrong hands, but they can be very fun if they're used correctly. We just hope that you come up and buy em and support the local kids going to FCA camp," said Thomasville FCA rep Richard Marsh.

Georgia law allows sparklers up to 100 grams each, fountains up to 200 grams for multiple tubes and 75 grams for individual tubes, as well as snakes, glow worms, snappers, and party poppers. "Leave the fireworks to the professionals. The city sponsors a fireworks show on the Fourth of July at Remington Park that evening," said TPD Public Information Officer Eric Hampton.

Police say they will definitely be on alert this weekend. "Most of all we'll be looking out for people who are under the influence of alcohol because we'd like to have everyone have a safe Fourth of July. An incident free fourth of July," said Hampton.

Many folks we spoke with today were very aware of the current risks with lighting fireworks. "That's something we definitely need to take into consideration. It has been very dry. We are way behind on our rain and that's something that everyone needs to take into consideration is fire safety," said Thomasville Resident K.C. Haltiwanger.

One Thomasville man even said he always wanted to be Smokey the Bear. "Only you can prevent forest fires," said Haltiwanger.

Fire officials say if you do decide to light any fireworks, you need to keep a few things in mind. Never light them near tall or dried grass, always have a hose or bucket near by, and there always needs to be adult supervision.

Under Georgia law, it is illegal to light firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, or bombs. Only the sparkler type fireworks are legal here.

Copyright 2011 WALB. All rights reserved.

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