By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 1, 2018
LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Lowndes County fire officials said last year, more than 150 fireworks-related emergencies were reported on the Fourth of July. Now they're heeding a safety warning to ensure you're not a part of that statistic.
"Not shooting the fireworks properly, not reading the instructions, not following the directions, usually on the box or even on the fireworks themselves. So we have an increase in burns this time of year," said Lowndes County Fire Marshall Lloyd Green.
This year, the holiday lands on a weekday, but officials said if you're waiting until the weekend to celebrate, holiday rules do not apply.
"We need to remember the times available. On the Fourth of July [fireworks] can go all the way until midnight, any other day of the week, up until 9:00 p.m.
Officials are asking community members to be courteous and respectful to their neighbors.
"There are people in our community who have sensory issues or PTSD. Issues related to noise that fireworks and the sounds associated with them can trigger some real trouble for those families and for that person," said Lowndes County Public Information Officer Paige Dukes.
Loud noises can also be a big scare for pets.
"Please make sure that you're planning now to plan a safe place for your pets because 911 is not the place to call whenever you lose your dog. It doesn't take a lot of time to plan to bring that pet inside or spend a little extra time with them during those periods," Dukes said.
In Lowndes County, fireworks must be set off on privately owned property. Officials ask that if lighting them off, pay attention to nearby trees and overhangs, as well as where debris could fall in order to clean up after yourselves.