Law revisions squeeze fireworks times

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There are several changes to Georgia’s fireworks laws taking effect July 1 as a result of House Bill 727. The biggest changes deal with the time of day fireworks are allowed, including on July 4.
 
In a recent update to the Peachtree City Council, Fire Chief Joe O’Conor said the change in the law allows fireworks to be detonated throughout the year between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. except on July 4 when the time extends to 11:59 p.m. and on New Year’s Eve when the time is extended to 1 a.m.
 
The law last year said fireworks could be detonated on any date from 10 a.m. until midnight, except on July 4 and New Year’s Eve when the time was extended until 2 a.m. Not any more.
 
Other prohibitions in the updated bill include:
 
• Usage within 100 yards of an electric plant, water treatment plant or a facility engaged in the sale of flammable liquids or gases;
 
• Usage within 100 yards of an electric substation or jail or prison;
 
• Usage within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home or healthcare facility;
 
• Usage by any person under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and
 
• Usage within any park, historic site or recreational area owned by a governing authority without issuance of special use permit that cannot exceed $100.
 
The current legislation prohibits the sale of fireworks to any persons under 18 years of age and would require identification to be shown prior to sale. It also prohibits the use of fireworks near any public transportation routes such as roads, highways and railroads.
 
For more information on the changes in the law visit http://www.gmanet.com/Legislative-Session/Bill/HB727.
 
Report the illegal use of consumer fireworks to the non-emergency number for Fayette County Communications (770-461-HELP).
 
As the July 4 holiday approaches, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging residents to use extreme caution to avoid fires and serious injuries when using fireworks this Independence Day. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks, is to attend a public fireworks display,” Hudgens said.