Citizens Reminded of Fireworks Safety ahead of Fourth of July Holiday
July 4th is fast approaching. Valdosta Fire Department would like all Valdosta citizens to keep a few key things in mind to help everyone have a safe holiday. In a typical year, far more fires occur on July 4th than any other day in the U.S. There is also a higher risk of injuries associated with fireworks--such as various degrees of burns or even death. So, Valdosta let's be safe!
State law provides for the ignition of fireworks in Georgia until midnight on July 4. Local noise ordinances require noises that extend beyond property boundaries to end at 10:00 p.m. on any days of the week that are not addressed in the fireworks statute.
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.
Fireworks may not be used in a park, historic site, recreational area or any other property owned by the city or county unless special permission has been granted.
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 a firework while drinking alcohol.
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothing when handling fireworks such clothes can catch 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 the Fourth of July can be extremely dangerous in a highly dense area. 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.
"We know we won't be able to get everyone to stop shooting their own fireworks, but VLPRA puts on a fireworks show every year, so we want to get citizens to that show, rather than citizens putting on their own show at home. In 2017, there were about 1000 more people injured than in 2016," said Valdosta Fire Department Fire & Life Safety Educator Tangela Rowe. "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 Fourth of July celebration. For more information on fireworks safety, please contact the Valdosta Fire Department at 229-333-1836 or visit www.valdostacity.com/fire.