Here are some other fireworks safety tips:
* Only use fireworks outdoors
* Do not allow anyone 12 or younger to handle sparklers at any time
* Light only one at a time
* The person igniting the fireworks should wear eye protection, should never place any part of the body over the fireworks and should back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting them
* Never carry fireworks in your pocket
* Never shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers
* Do not try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned — wait at least 20 minutes and then soak them in a bucket of water
* After fireworks complete burning, douse the spent device with water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a fire
* Stay away from illegal explosives and homemade fireworks
Taking care of pets and nearby animals is important during the holiday. Animals who are prone to getting scared from noise or who are not used to loud banging sounds may try to run away if able. Here are tips to keep pets safe:
* Keep pets indoors with a safe, secure place to hide
* Turn on ambient noise, like a radio or TV, to provide some distraction from the loud sounds of fireworks
* Ensure pets’ microchips and IDs are up to date
* Resist the urge to take pets to fireworks displays and leave them home
* For more fireworks safety tips, visit cpsc.gov/fireworks.
FORSYTH COUNTY — As most people are off for the July Fourth holiday weekend, shopping lists may include fireworks. Big fireworks. Not just sparklers and noise-makers.
With a new law that went into effect Wednesday that allows aerial fireworks in Georgia, local emergency personnel are encouraging additional safety measures.
“Fireworks are unpredictable, and accidents and injuries can occur quickly even if a person is careful,” said Forsyth County Fire Chief Danny Bowman. “The best way to avoid injury is to not use fireworks and leave the fireworks displays to trained professionals.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 240 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries around Independence Day. Children 19 and younger represent about 51 percent of those.
“A common fireworks-related hazard that we see is the use of sparklers by young children,” said Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers. “Many people do not realize that sparklers burn at temperatures of approximately 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.”
Those who choose to use fireworks are urged to follow some basic tips.
“First and foremost, fireworks are explosive devices,” Shivers said. “Always follow the directions that the manufacturer provides with each device.”
Shivers noted an important aspect of fireworks safety is to never aim them at someone.
“They’re not toys. They’re not designed to be used as games,” he said. “Don’t shoot them off at or around each other, businesses or vehicles and only deploy them in open areas. It’s best if you can be in a wide open space, where there is no risk of them landing on top of structures or in a grassy area.”
Always have an extinguishing source nearby, Shivers said. This can be a bucket of water or sand, but can also be a shovel to cover small grass fires that may ignite due to a falling ember.
Another way to help ensure safety is to bring a first-aid kit “to be prepared for minor burns.” However, any injury should be remediated by calling 911.
“Let fire and EMS come out and check them out to make sure further treatment isn’t necessary,” Shivers said.
To help prevent the need for a 911 call, fireworks should be handled only by adults, he said. Georgia law dictates you must be 18 or older to buy fireworks.