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Fire, police departments urge firework safety as July 4 approaches

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Just in time for the 4th of July celebrations, the City of Douglas Fire and Police Department would like to encourage citizens to practice safety with fireworks and would like to make the public aware of a few facts about the Fireworks law. The State of Georgia allows for consumer fireworks to be sold statewide. A State license to sell fireworks can be issued to applicants after the applicant meets specific insurance and criminal background requirements and pays the state license fee. Authorized fireworks include firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, sparklers and other combustibles and explosives of like construction. Persons must be at least 18 years of age to purchase, possess, transport, ignite or explode fireworks. Fireworks can be used during the hours of 10 am and 9 pm. However, on January 1st, July 3rd and 4th, and on December 31st, fireworks can be used during an extended time from 9 p.m.-11:59 p.m. It is illegal to use any fireworks indoors. It is unlawful to ignite fireworks within or on a roadway, city/county property or within 100 yards of a hospital or nursing home.

Celebrate safely by following some of these safety tips that are offered by the American Pyrotechnics Safety and Education Foundation. Always have a sober adult in charge and never give fireworks to young children, event sparklers. Only buy legal consumer fireworks from a licensed store, stand or tent. Fireworks typically have bright colored labels with the manufacturer’s name, directions and warnings. Read and follow directions on the labels. Never carry a firework in your pocket or shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container. Keep spectators at a safe distance. Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks. Don’t aim or throw fireworks at another person. Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device. Only use fireworks outside, away from buildings and on a flat level, hard, fireproof surface that is free from debris. Have a working garden hose or bucket of water handy. Light only one firework at a time and never approach or re-ignite a firework that doesn’t light the first time. When finished, allow used firework to stand for at least 20 minutes, submerge in water, drain, place in a plastic bag and dispose outside in a covered trash can.

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