With almost 10,000 Americans hospitalized with fireworks related injuries in 2018, the Hinesville Fire Department is reminding residents to make fireworks safety a priority on New Year’s Eve this year.
Of those reported, the most serious injuries were the result of lighting illegal fireworks or those intended for professional displays only – accounting for 29 percent of the data collected by the National Fire Protection Association. Injuries to the hands/fingers accounted for 38 percent and injuries to the eyes accounted for 19 percent.
HFD wants all residents to have a safe and happy New Years celebration.
This begins by ensuring that any and all fireworks you have purchased are legal in the state of Georgia and meet the City of Hinesville fireworks ordinance. To view the City of Hinesville’s / state of Georgia’s ordinance, please click here or visit cityofhinesville.org/424/Fireworks-Safety. Here are some tips from HFD for this New Year’s Eve:
• Purchase all fireworks from certified / licensed retailers. Retailers in Hinesville are located at all local Wal-Marts and at the American Legion (1121 W Oglethorpe Hwy)
• Do not attempt to relight a “dud”. If you discover a dud in your fireworks purchase, allow 10-15 minutes to pass from the time of the attempted lighting and then soak it in a bucket of water
• Always keep a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher on hand when lighting fireworks.
• Never experiment with homemade devices.
• Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then placing them in a trashcan.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
• Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
• Store unused fireworks in a cool, dry place. They should be six inches off the floor and protected from potential spillage from other contamination.
• Light one firework at a time; then move away to a safe distance prior to ignition.
• When lighting fireworks in a group, always designate a lighter.
• Whenever possible, always use a pump or a long handled lighter to ignite fireworks.
• Consider your pets when planning to shoot fireworks.
• Do not drink alcohol and light fireworks.
• Do not light fireworks on or near grass.
• Wear safety goggles when lighting fireworks.
• Do not use a glass or metal container as a “launch pad” for fireworks.
• Do not light fireworks indoors.
• Do not wear loose fitting clothing.
• Do not allow children under the age of 16 to handle fireworks.
• Always read the instructions prior to using fireworks. Per City of Hinesville / Georgia state ordinance, the lighting of fireworks is permissible on Dec. 31st from 10a.m. and 11:59 p.m. and on Jan. 1st from 12a.mm and 12:59 a.m.
For more information regarding the usage of fireworks in the city of Hinesville, please contact the Hinesville Fire Department at 912.876.4143 or Captain Andra Hart, Public Safety Education Coordinator, at 912.876.4173.