Monday July 6th, 2020 1:53PM

Gainesville Fire Dept. officials caution residents to play it safe when it comes to fireworks

By Alyson Shields Reporter
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
Independence Day is a popular holiday for fireworks, however there are risks that come along with the national tradition. Gainesville Fire Division Chief Keith Smith said safety and proper use should be the main goal of an at-home fireworks show.
To start, Smith said be courteous to your neighbors with your show. Not everyone likes fireworks and some people have to travel or work the next day. Remember in Georgia, state law caps the time for celebrating with fireworks on the Fourth at midnight.
In general, Smith advises home fireworks shows to be in a clear area, away from other homes or people.
"You want to make sure you don't shoot it towards anywhere that could start a fire, especially people's houses. A firework that lands on someone's house, on the roof or something, ignites, explodes, does whatever it's supposed to do, could cause a house fire. And it's not even your house," said Smith.  His rule of thumb is to not shoot fireworks towards any structure.
He said you need to have a bucket of water or a garden hose available in case of a dud firework. Duds are lit fireworks that do not shoot off.
"Douse it with a little water to make sure it's completely out," said Smith. "Trying to relight one... it may have gotten down to just before where it's supposed to shoot off or whatever, and with you standing over it trying to figure out what's wrong with it, you could end up with a serious injury."
While fireworks can be fun for kids, Smith said every fireworks show needs an adult and not to let little hands light fireworks or sparklers.
"Adults need to carefully watch that because those little sparklers can reach 2,000 degrees," said Smith. "If somebody's not paying attention to what they're doing, or they're a little too excited or something, you can drop it on your clothing, drop it on your skin. Your clothes could catch fire or melt, or melt to you. Touching directly to your skin could leave a nasty little burn."
Additionally, Smith encouraged those celebrating with alcohol to stand aside instead of playing with fireworks.
"There is an average of about 200 fireworks injuries a day around the Fourth of July holiday, so there's probably going to be some injuries, but we would really like to encourage people to be as safe as possible," Smith said.
Smith said to avoid all of the dangers of fireworks at your home, check out a professional show instead. A list of activities and fireworks in our area is available here.
  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: fireworks, Fourth of July, Gainesville Fire Department , fireworks safety
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity
New research offers fresh grounds for drinking coffee, showing that it may boost chances for a longer life
11:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
GBI provides preliminary autopsy results for man found in river in Helen
It will be a while longer before officials can say for certain what claimed the life of an Alabama man in Helen late last week.
10:59PM ( 4 hours ago )
Georgia troopers stop over 100 first day of hands-free law
Drivers are not allowed to operate a phone by hand or use any part of their body to support the device.
7:24PM ( 8 hours ago )
Local/State News
North Georgia has a full calendar for Independence Day 2018
As we approach the 242nd anniversary of our nation's independence, North Georgians have planned a full calendar or events to celebrate the red, white and blue.
By Steven Kemp
9:45AM ( 1 day from now )
Demorest pursuing Josh Turner concert at Glorious Fourth of July
In conjunction with Habersham County’s bicentennial celebration, the City of Demorest is planning its largest-ever Glorious Fourth of July Celebration on July 4.
10:39PM ( 2 months ago )
Hall County Fire Marshal: Use caution with New Year's fireworks
With New Year's Day falling on a Monday to start 2018, and thus giving many workers a three-day weekend to start the new year, it's fair to expect the festivities might be a little rowdier than normal come New Year's Eve.
2:00PM ( 6 months ago )
North Georgia celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, parades and other festivities
North Georgia communities plan to celebrate Indepedence Day early and often in 2017.
2:25PM ( 11 months ago )
Local fire officials warn of hazards from at-home fireworks
Independence Day is a popular holiday for fireworks, both on a large and small scale, and local fire officials are warning residents and their children to use caution if they choose to have fireworks at home.
2:47PM ( 11 months ago )