LAWRENCEVILLE — With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, the Gwinnett County fire department is urging locals to exercise caution when using (legal) fireworks to celebrate.
Fireworks have been legal in Georgia for a few years now, but it bears repeating that only the “sparkler” type are technically allowed — those include fountains, sparklers, smoke balls, snakes and others that “emit showers of sparks.” Things like Roman candles, bottle rockets and firecrackers remain prohibited.
To try and prevent injuries during New Year’s festivities, Gwinnett County firefighters offered the following tips for safe celebrations:
— Never give fireworks, including sparklers, to children.
— Always keep a bucket of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher close by.
— Allow enough room when lighting to ensure proper functioning, and never light fireworks in windy or stormy conditions. Only light on firm, stable ground, outdoors and away from buildings and vehicles.
— Light one firework at a time and use a punk or fireplace lighter to keep a safe distance away.
— Never attempt to fix or relight malfunctioning fireworks.
— At the end of the night, inspect the area to double check that there are no fires that may have started from sparks. Wet the area thoroughly.
— Soak all spent and malfunctioning fireworks in a bucket of water for several hours before discarding them.
— Prior to use, read directions carefully and inspect devices for any defects.