Some statistics, warnings for fireworks safetyBy JOHN A. WINTERS
Even though most commercial “big-bang” fireworks are illegal in Georgia, don’t think those cute little legal sparklers are just harmless, well, sparklers.
In 2010, of the 8,600 emergency room visits relating to fireworks injuries, more than one-third were caused by sparklers and other novelties, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Based on that 2010 study, there were 15,500 reported fires caused by fireworks; 8,600 firework-related emergency room visits; and 1,100 structure fires that resulted in eight deaths and $36 million in property damage.
“The risk of injury was highest for children 5-14 with more than twice the risk of the general population,” Gantt said. “Sparklers and novelties alone accounted for 38 percent of the 8,600 emergency room visits for fireworks injuries in 2010.”
Following are some tips put out by the Newnan Fire Department:
• Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
• Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
• Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
• Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
• Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
• Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
• Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
• Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
• Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!
• Report illegal explosives, like M480s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.