In a lot of neighborhoods this weekend, the bombs will be bursting in midair. and people have parties with fireworks.
the Augusta Fire Department/EMA wants to remind residents of the dangers of fireworks and how to use them safely over the holiday weekend.
In 2020, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that at least 18 people died from fireworks-related incidents, and about 15,600 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for firework injuries.
According to National Fire Protection Association, more than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks annually.
The Augusta Fire Department has responded to 26 firework-related incidents since 2020.
Jason DeHart, Augusta Fire Department/EMA Public Information Officer, stressed that there is no really safe way to use fireworks, but explained that fireworks are legal in Georgia and there are safety measures everyone should follow.
“If you do use fireworks and you do celebrate fourth using fireworks, we really want everyone to go out and use some safety steps and really practice them,” DeHart said. “We don’t want a celebration to end into a tragedy.”
Augusta Fire/EMA recommends people take the following safety steps while using fireworks:
- Never drink alcohol and shoot fireworks
- Always keep a bucket of water, or some other form of extinguishment nearby
- Never shoot fireworks over other people’s homes
- Never shoot fireworks at other people
- Keep fireworks away from any flammable substances
- Give yourself a 10-foot safe zone
- Never re-light a firework that doesn’t go off the first time
- Watch for children and pets
- leftover fireworks can be dangerous, be sure to canvas the area to retrieve, and properly
- dispose of any used pyrotechnics
- After all of your pyrotechnics have been used up, fill a large bucket with water and completely
- submerge all of the shells and encapsulated pieces, this should render the explosive ingredients inert
The Augusta Fire Department/EMA and the Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America partnered together to display live firework safety demonstrations on Thursday morning.
Five different demonstrations were shown to show the dangers of fireworks and what not to do when using fireworks.
Georgia law states that fireworks can lawfully be used from 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. July 3 and 4. DeHart says he and the fire department are hoping to respond to no firework incidents this Fourth of July.
“We hope to respond to no firework-related incidents, that is our goal and why we are doing this demonstration. The reality is, that is not going to happen and the best we can do is put out the safety steps and hope people adhere to them and hopefully we see numbers go down all the way down to zero,” DeHart said.
DeHart also said he encourages people not to shoot fireworks at their homes and go to professional shows in the local area.
“We really recommend not people to shoot fireworks at there home and actually go out to those professional shows such as the one the city is putting on. Leave it to those professionals to put on the show and then be able to go home.”