Insurance Commissioner offers firworks safety suggestions

Ralph Hudgens, the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner of Georgia, emphasizes fireworks safety for the upcoming Independence Day holiday. (Special Photo: Trent Yarnell)

Albany — With Independence Day quickly approaching Ralph Hudgens, the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner of Georgia, is urging residents to use fireworks only with extreme caution in order to avoid fires and injuries.

Hudgens noted that the safest way to avoid injury and still enjoy fireworks is to watch a public fireworks show instead of purchasing and setting of individual fireworks.

“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show display,” Hudgens said. “Each year in the U.S., around 11,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries.”

The sale and use of most consumer types of fireworks, including firecrackers, skyrockets and Roman candles, have been legal in Georgia since 2015. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that there are approximately 200 fireworks injuries a day during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. In order to avoid these injuries offers the following safety suggestions when using legal fireworks:

— Purchase fireworks only 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 fireworks activities

— Never allow children to ignite fireworks.

— Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.

— Light only one firework at a time.

— Use fireworks only 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.

— Have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby.

— Use caution with animals for the excitement, noise and lights from fireworks can cause them fear and stress.

For more information on laws governing the use of fireworks in the state of Georgia, contact local police or fire department offices. To find a licensed fireworks dealer in your area call (800) 656-2298.

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