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Fireworks: What Georgia law says you can and can't do

You can ignite fireworks on New Year's Eve until 1 a.m. Jan. 1, but there are some things to remember

PERRY, Ga. — Folks all over the world are counting down to 2020. 

That means music, countdowns and, of course, fireworks.

Ashley Parks at Jake’s Fireworks says business has been booming around the New Year’s holiday.

“I feel like we’re busier today than we were on July 4th,” Parks said.

Fireworks are nice to look at, but they can be dangerous to use.

Dr. Paul Anderson says since he started as an ER resident at Coliseum Medical Centers he hasn’t seen many firework related injuries, but he knows they can happen.

“You can have fun with fireworks, just make sure that you’re doing them in a safe way,” Anderson said.

He recommends pointing the fireworks away from people and animals, making sure you are in an open space, and avoiding letting children light the fireworks.

He says alcohol can be a large factor in injuries.

“If any kind of substance alters perception -- alcohol, drugs -- that can also increase the chances of having something bad happen,” Anderson said.

It’s not only a safety issue, it’s also the law.

Georgia Law says it is illegal to light fireworks under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The law also says you can’t shoot fireworks within 100 yards of gas stations, jails, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Cheryl Story says their boxes have descriptions of how much noise a particular firework will make, how high it will go, and how many shots are in it.

“You want to know how many shots is supposed to come out of this package once you ignite it. That way you do not walk back up, you know, prior to it being completed," Story said.

It’s also important to remember that it’s legal to shoot fireworks statewide on certain holidays, like New Year’s Eve. The cut off time for this particular holiday is 1 a.m. on Jan.1.

For Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, you must stop by 11:59 p.m.

You must be 18 to buy fireworks, but Georgia law doesn’t have an age restriction on lighting them.

According to the Georgia government website, most fireworks related injuries happen to people under the age of 16, so it’s always important to have adult supervision.

You should also have water on hand to douse fireworks and you should never try to relight one if it doesn’t go off the first time. 

Anderson says if you do get burned or hurt by a firework, wrap the injury in something clean and come straight to the ER. Don’t try to do much to the injury yourself.

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