Lowndes County, Georgia: Independence Day marks a time for celebrations and gatherings with family and friends and Lowndes County would like to remind all citizens to be mindful and safe while celebrating.
While there are no local ordinances on fireworks, in accordance with state law, fireworks are permitted on the Fourth of July from 10:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. The law requires those selling, purchasing, and igniting fireworks to be at least 18 years of age. Fireworks may not be used near or on public roads, streets, highways, or bridges, to include neighborhood streets. Usage by any person under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is prohibited. Further, fireworks may not be ignited within any park, historic site or recreational area owned by a government authority without issuance of a special use permit.
Lowndes County Fire Rescue would like to encourage citizens to attend local public shows in lieu of igniting fireworks on private property. In the event fireworks are enjoyed at home, please adhere to the following safety standards set forth by the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
Sparklers burn at a temperature of around 2000 degrees, which can cause third-degree burns. “Children should never handle sparklers without parent supervision,” said Mark Maskule, Fire Marshall, Lowndes County Fire Rescue.
“If you are planning to use fireworks, we urge all citizens to exercise caution and be mindful of your neighbors, local veterans, pets and others who might be sensitive to noise,” said Meghan Barwick, Lowndes County Public Information Officer. “Animals are often frightened by the loud noises. Pets tend to run away from the loud noises,”.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, follow these four simple steps for keeping our furry friends safe during loud-and hot-warm weather festivities.
- Keep your pet safely away from fireworks: it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to soften jarring noises. Even pets who are usually kept outdoors should be brought inside. If you are going to an Independence Day event and cannot leave your pet unattended at home, keep them leashed and under your direct control at all times.
- If your pet is scared by fireworks, ask a veterinarian for help: there are medications and techniques available to help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety.
- Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities: another reason to keep your pets away from the often-noisy celebrations of summer is heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke, which can become deadly very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see any signs of a heatstroke.
- Safeguard your pet with a collar and ID tag: All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during firework displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through windows or door screens.
You should also ensure that your pet is microchipped and that the chip is properly registered with your current contact information. The Lowndes County Animal Shelter offers microchipping for $25.00. “Citizens should bring a found animal to either a local Veterinarian’s office of to the Shelter and have them scanned for a chip”, said Barwick. “That is the quickest way for it to be reunited with their owner”.
Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk, is focusing enforcement on providing for the safety of all citizens during the 4th of July holiday period. “The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office will be out in force for the duration of the holiday period. The observance and celebration of Independence Day should not be spoiled by insult or injury. Citizens are encouraged to ignite fireworks in accordance with the law, drink responsibly, and designate a driver,” stated Sheriff Paulk.
The Valdosta Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) will host South Georgia’s largest fireworks show on Sunday, July 4 beginning at nightfall around 9:15am. Their fireworks show is free and can be seen from the mall side of I-75 between exits 16 and 18- just look west towards Brooks County. If there is rain, VLPRA will hold the show on Monday, July 5.
For more information, please contact Lowndes County Public Information Officer, Meghan Barwick, 229-671-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.