Officials encouraging firework safety ahead of Fourth of July
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - If your holiday weekend plans include shooting off fireworks, Savannah Fire and Savannah Police want you to be careful when playing with them.
Savannah Fire Marshal Richard Griffin says the department wants to make sure people are careful when lighting off fireworks.
Firefighters say even those who just handle sparklers should be careful. After it's lit, a sparkler could reach temperatures around 1200 degrees.
Adults should never allow children to ignite or play with fireworks. When lighting fireworks, always make sure you have a hose and bucket of water nearby, just in case you need to extinguish them. Also, make sure you set your fireworks on a flat surface.
"Put it on a piece of plywood or a piece of cement. Put it on something that's flat and stable so your fireworks don't fall over and then go chasing after you or shooting into the crowd," Griffin said.
Savannah Police will be around town making sure people are playing by the rules.
Remember, it is legal to shoot off consumer fireworks in Georgia, but there is a time frame. Usually, fireworks are only allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. However, on July 3 and 4, fireworks will be allowed until 11:59 p.m.
Police say those 18 and over should be handling fireworks.
"We recommend that children do not directly be involved with the fireworks. We will be looking for those instances, but we want people to enjoy the fireworks and have fun," Sgt. Dana Purvis said.
Police also want to remind the public that fireworks cannot be used on roads or highways. Also, no one is allowed to shoot fireworks within 100 yards of a nursing home, hospital, or gas station.
Both departments say you can play it safe by just watching one of the professional fireworks shows, like the River Street Celebration on Wednesday, July 4, at dark.