A handheld sparkler burns at over 1,200 degrees -- enough to cause a third-degree burn. In addition to the possibility of burns, sparklers may cause grass or house fires. In fact, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. More than half of these fires are caused by fireworks.
Did you know:
* 92 percent of the fireworks injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involved fireworks that federal regulations permit consumers to use.
* The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
* Kids should never play with fireworks. The risk of injury is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 5-14.
* Steer clear of others -- fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
* Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
* Always have a bucket of water for duds and to cool sparkler sticks which can stay hot after they are out. Don't throw firework debris in the trash right away -- soak it in water then wait 20 minutes before discarding.
* Think about your pet. Animals can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.
Georgia law defines any firework as illegal except:
* Wire or wood sparklers of not more than 100 grams of mixture per item.
* Other sparkling items that are non-explosive and non-aerial and contain 75 grams or less of chemical compound per tube or a total of 200 grams or less for multiple tubes.
* Snakes and glow worms.
* Trick noisemakers including paper streamers, party poppers, string poppers, snappers and drop pops -- each consisting of .25 grams or less of chemical composition.
Contact the Cartersville Fire Department at 770-387-5636 if you have any questions regarding the safety or use of fireworks.