By Greg Gullberg
July 1, 2013
Planning to fire 'em off for the fourth? You'll probably want to refresh yourself on the law when it comes to fireworks...What may be legal in one state, may land you in serious trouble in another.
It's a last minute arms race, as folks build up their personal arsenals for the 4th of July. But in Georgia you can't buy some of the things you can in Florida--and in Alabama ,you can get even bigger fireworks. But crossing those state lines with them could be playing a dangerous game with the law.
Valdosta Fire Chief, J.D. Rice: "You can have fun with them. Fireworks can be a lot of fun if used properly and used with common sense."
Fire Chief J.D. Rice says the Valdosta Fire and Police Departments will be out full force for the 4th.
Valdosta Fire Chief, J.D. Rice: "Our investigators and our inspectors go out along with the Valdosta Police Department and we're riding around and when we notice the fireworks going off we'll investigate it."
In Florida there's plenty you can buy that you can't in Georgia. Like artillary shells, roman candles--everything you need to set off your 4thof July with a bang. But if you're caught trying to bring something like that across state lines into Georgia, you could be fined $500 dollars and spend up to a year in jail.
Valdosta Fire Chief, J.D. Rice: "We are going to confiscate them and if we have to come back we're definitely going to give you a citation because you haven't learned your lesson. So we're trying to drive home the message that these are illegal and you will be punished."
Georgia allows small fireworks like snakes,snappers, and party poppers. But don't dare try to fire off a red devil, a fat cat, or the $200-dollar pyromaniac in the Peach State. Basically, anything that goes airborne.
Valdosta Fire Chief, J.D. Rice: "A lot of the injuries we see are from the extremities like fingers and hands and things of that nature because kids take chances not knowing how fast they need to release the fireworks."
Almost 10,000 fireworks related injuries were reported in the US in 2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Now a great way to see some big explosions this independence day in Valdosta is at the mall and Wild Adventures.