Originally created 02/26/03

Insurance commissioner announces plans for pyrotechnics legislation



ATLANTA -- Georgia's insurance commissioner and a state senator introduced plans Tuesday to regulate stage pyrotechnics - only days after a fire killed nearly 100 people in a Rhode Island nightclub.

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and state Sen. Rooney Bowen, a Republican from Cordele, would place a temporary moratorium on pyrotechnic shows in buildings with a capacity of 5,000 of fewer.

They also want to create a task force of fire safety experts from around the state to review fire codes and make recommendations on improving safety.

The plan also calls for making the operation of a pyrotechnic display without a license a felony.

Officials in West Warwick, R.I., said pyrotechnics used by the band Great White ignited a blaze that destroyed the building.