With the Fourth of July right around the corner, you and your neighbors may be gearing up for an evening of colorful pyrotechnics. Before wowing your friends and family with fireworks, find out what fireworks you can legally purchase and when you can set them off.
Tested and regulated by the Product Safety Commission (CPSC), consumer fireworks are legal under federal law. Fireworks must meet certain criteria regarding composition, quantity and stability of pyrotechnic material to qualify as “consumer fireworks.” Any other fireworks are classified as professional (display) fireworks and require a federal license to purchase and use them.
What Fireworks Can You Buy In Georgia?
In Georgia, all fireworks classified as DOT 1.4G (consumer fireworks) are legal to purchase and use as stated in the Georgia General Assembly House Bill 727.Consumer fireworks you can legally buy in retail stores across Georgia include:
- Bottle Rockets
- Sky Rockets
- Roman Candles
- Smoke and Punk
- Crackle and Strobe
- Wheels and Spinners
- Sky Flyers
- Display Shells
- Aerial Items (Cakes)
Who Can Buy Consumer Fireworks in Georgia?
You have to be 18 years old or older to buy fireworks. While the law doesn’t stipulate an exact age for igniting them, keep in mind that the majority of injuries happen to kids under the age of 16. It is illegal to light fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The legal time frame of when fireworks are allowed are:
- New Years: until 1a.m.
- Fourth of July: until midnight
- Any other day: Not after 9 p.m.
Where Can You Light Fireworks in Georgia?
While it may be legal to set off fireworks at your home, check to see what the laws are for your particular neighborhood. Private communities like HOAs, condos or apartment complexes may not allow fireworks at all. Others may allow only a designated spot for lighting fireworks like a parking lot, field or a pool area.
Georgia has some places where fireworks are banned. Do not light fireworks on roads or highways. It is also illegal to light fireworks within 100 yards of a:
- Nursing home
- Nuclear power plant
- Gas station or refinery
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, State Parks and Historic Sites, fireworks are strictly prohibited in state parks. Use of fireworks in other public parks is also prohibited unless you have a special license.
Keep in mind that while they may be legal, consumer fireworks are considered hazardous materials (hazmat) division 1.4G explosives. Be mindful of the laws when purchasing and lighting them off to ensure the safety of everyone.
If fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the show. For more information please visit bbb.org/atlanta.