LOWNDES CO. – Residents of Lowndes are reminded to follow the requirements of the law and practice safety while celebrating the 4th of July.
Independence Day marks a time for celebrations and gatherings with family and friends and Lowndes County would like to remind residents to be mindful and safe while celebrating.
Georgia law says fireworks are allowed in the unincorporated area of Lowndes County on July 4e from 10:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The law requires those who sell, buy and light fireworks to be at least 18 years old. Fireworks may not be used near or on public roads, streets, highways or bridges, including neighborhood streets. Use by anyone under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is prohibited. In addition, no fireworks may be lit in a park, historic site or recreation area owned by a government authority without the issuance of a special use permit.
Lowndes County Fire Rescue wants to encourage residents to attend local public performances instead of setting off fireworks on private property. If fireworks are enjoyed in the home, please adhere to the following safety standards established by the National Fireworks Safety Council:
- Know your fireworks; read warning labels and performance descriptions before lighting.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all fireworks activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Save your booze for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time, then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTSIDE in an open area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a failed firework. Wait 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and a charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET and never fire them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of used fireworks by moistening them and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible material until the next day.
The candles burn at a temperature of around 2000 degrees, which can cause third degree burns. “Children should never handle sparklers without parental supervision,” said Mark Maskule, fire marshal, Lowndes County Fire Rescue.
“If you plan to use fireworks, we urge all residents to exercise caution and be mindful of your neighbors, local veterans, pets and others who may be sensitive to noise said Meghan Barwick, Public Information Officer for Lowndes County. “Animals are often frightened by loud noises. Pets tend to shy away from loud noises.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, follow these four simple steps to keep our furry friends safe during warm and hot weather festivities.
- KEEP YOUR PET SAFELY AWAY FROM FIREWORKS: It’s best to keep your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV on to dampen out any harsh noises. Even pets that are usually kept outdoors should be brought indoors. If you are going to an Independence Day event and cannot leave your pet unattended at home, keep it on a leash and under your direct control at all times.
- If your pet is frightened by fireworks, seek help from a veterinarian: there are medications and techniques available to help ease your pet’s fear and anxiety.
- Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities: Another reason to keep your pets away from often noisy summer celebrations is the heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heatstroke, which can become fatal very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see signs of heat stroke.
- Protect your pet with a collar and ID tag: All pets, even those kept indoors full time, should always wear collars with identification tags. Pets that live only indoors can become so frightened during fireworks that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking windows or door screens.
You must also ensure that your pet is microchipped and that the chip is properly registered with your current details. The Lowndes County Animal Shelter offers a microchip for $25.00. “Residents should bring a found animal to either a local veterinarian’s office or the shelter and have them scanned for a microchip,” Barwick said. “It’s the fastest way for him to find his owner.”
Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk is focused on law enforcement to keep all residents safe during the 4e July holiday period. “The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office will be in effect for the duration of the vacation period. The observance and celebration of Independence Day should not be marred by insults or injury. Residents are encouraged to light fireworks by law, drink responsibly and designate a driver,” Sheriff Paulk said.
The Valdosta Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) will host South Georgia’s largest fireworks display on Monday, July 4 beginning at approximately 9:15 a.m. dark. Their fireworks display is free and can be seen from the mall side of I-75 between exits 16 and 18 – just look west toward Brooks County. If it rains, VLPRA will hold the show on Tuesday, July 5. VLPRA encourages families to arrive early to find parking and reminds the public not to stop on interstate or interstate ramps to view the show.
For more information, please contact Lowndes County Public Information Officer Meghan Barwick, 229-671-2400, or [email protected]