Fire commissioner warns of fireworks' risk - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fire commissioner warns of sparklers' risk

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(Source: Mike Manhatton) (Source: Mike Manhatton)
Fireworks injury risk data from the Consumer Products Safety Commission. (Source: CPSC) Fireworks injury risk data from the Consumer Products Safety Commission. (Source: CPSC)

Sparklers and non-explosive fireworks that are legal in Georgia can still pose risk of burns.

Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens urged caution and adult supervision when using legalized fireworks.

He warned that sparklers can burn at temperatures as high as 1,800 degrees. Two-thirds to three-fourths of all fireworks injuries occur during the four-week period around Independence Day, according to the commissioner's office.  

"Around 8,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for fireworks-related injuries," Hudgens said in a statement. "And most of those incidents involve children." 

Last year, an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Sparklers and fountains are not classified as fireworks by law and are legal to buy and use in Georgia, according to the commissioner's office. 

Buying or using firecrackers, skyrockets, and cherry bombs, is illegal in Georgia and punishable by a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. 

Safety tips from the CPSC:  

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

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