Beware fireworks dangers

Wanda Lamb, doesn’t know how many people will heed her warning but she will remind them anyway.


“Fireworks and alcohol just don’t mix,” she said.

Lamb said the explosive items she sells at the store in a suburb of Columbus, Ga., are a lot of fun but that those who use them need to be careful.

There are safety rules to follow, she told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Some of those listed on the store’s web site include:

• Always read the instructions carefully before attempting to light a fireworks item.

• Do not throw burned out sparklers on the ground. The hot debris left over from the sparkler can burn someone if they step on it.

• Always wear proper clothing whenever you use fireworks. This includes cotton or denim clothing, long pants, eye protection, covered shoes, and (if necessary) ear protection.

• Keep fireworks away from open flames, including cigarettes. Do not smoke around fireworks.

• Keep your fireworks dry. Never attempt to light fireworks that have become wet.

• Store fireworks in a cool dry place, and away from children. Make sure small children cannot reach fireworks.

• Never allow children to use fireworks without direct adult supervision.

Lamb said her fireworks sales have been brisk lately, but the sales numbers pale in comparison to those for the Fourth of July.

“They are not even close,” she said.

Big explosive items are popular for the coming of the new year, she said, but small items go, too.

“People will get the firecrackers, Roman candles and sparklers,” she said.

Lamb is not the only one encouraging fireworks safety. Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging parents to protect their children and themselves, while at the same time reminding people in Georgia that they should not be using fireworks.

Hudgens sent a reminder in a news release that the sale and individual use of any type of firework, except certain kinds of sparklers, is illegal in Georgia.

The penalties are a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and/or a sentence of up to one year in jail. Professional fireworks displays are permitted provided they are licensed through the local judge of probate court.

The law states that the definition of prohibited fireworks shall not include: “Wire or wood sparklers of 100 grams or less of mixture per item; other sparkling items which are non-explosive and nonaerial and contain 75 grams or less of chemical compound per tube or a total of 200 grams or less for multiple tubes; snake and glow worms; trick noise makers which include paper streamers, party poppers, string poppers, snappers, and drop pops each consisting of 0.25 grains or less of explosive mixture.”

The Commissioner said sparklers are legal in Georgia but should be used properly and with adult supervision.

“According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks related injuries,” Hudgens said. “The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14.”

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