According to Georgia law, fireworks are allowed on New Year’s Eve from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. The law bans people from igniting fireworks on roadways, right-of-ways, highways and within 100 yards of hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. Please respect your neighbors when shooting off fireworks.
Whenever handling fireworks or accompanying someone who is doing so, remember these safety guidelines to ensure a fun and incident-free celebration:
- Never relight a firework that has gone out. Instead douse it in water and discard the device.
- Never allow children to handle fireworks.
- Always use fireworks according to the manufacturer requirements listed on the package.
- Always have water and/or a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Never aim fireworks at people, vehicles or buildings.
- Never use fireworks while drinking alcohol.
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothing when handling fireworks because such clothes can catch on fire in the process.
- Always stand 50 to 100 feet away from buildings when using fireworks.
- Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
The sale of fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 is illegal and can be punishable with a $2,500 fine.
Shooting firearms on New Year’s Eve can be extremely dangerous in a highly dense area. The Valdosta Police Department asks that citizens do not shoot firearms into the air as what goes up must come down.
Because of our combat veterans and senior citizens, it is recommended to speak with them beforehand so they will be prepared for the loud noises. If your pets are not kept inside, please ensure your fencing is secure.
Having alcohol in your system when using fireworks multiplies the risk for injuries and danger. If you’re going to consume alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver. “No one is saying don’t go out and have fun, but do not drive your vehicle home. Law enforcement officers will be out in full force and there will be no tolerance for driving under the influence,” said Valdosta Police Department Lieutenant Adam Bembry.
Rather than endure the risks, citizens are urged to leave the fireworks to professionals who are accustomed to potential hazards.
Have a fun and safe New Year’s celebration. For more information on firework safety, contact the VFD at 229-333-1836 or visit www.valdostacity.com/fire.