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New Years Eve fireworks? Dont even think about it
Authorities warn against possession of pyrotechnics, but say sparklers OK
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It’s all right to ring in the new year with a bang, so long as it isn’t with fireworks. Local law enforcement leaders remind residents that while sparklers are legal, possessing actual fireworks in Georgia is not.
Statesboro police Maj. Scott Brunson said anyone found with fireworks faces a misdemeanor charge.
“We will be responding to complaints and will be on patrol” New Year’s Eve, he said.
Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson said fireworks could be confiscated if a deputy finds someone in possession. Deputies will be on patrol this holiday, and will respond to complaint calls about people setting off fireworks.
Usually, deputies will simply ask offenders to stop breaking the law. However, an offender’s response and demeanor will have a lot to do with the end result.
“A case can be made (regarding the offense) and some people talk themselves into jail,” Anderson said.
Incident reports in past years have shown people were arrested on disorderly conduct and obstruction charges when deputies responded to a fireworks complaint call.
Some are confused by the difference between illegal fireworks and sparklers. The best way to tell the difference is, if you have to travel out of state to purchase them, likely they are illegal in Georgia, he said.
“I can’t say it any better than (Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy) Gene McDaniel, who said if it goes ‘boom,’ then it is illegal,” Brunson said.
According to the website chemistry.about.com, “there is a difference between a firecracker and a sparkler. The goal of a firecracker is to create a controlled explosion. A sparkler, on the other hand, burns over a long period of time (up to a minute) and produces a brilliant shower of sparks.”
Both Brunson and Anderson remind residents that even sparklers can be dangerous.
“Don’t light them in your hand,” Anderson said. “Adult supervision is the main thing. We don’t want kids getting hurt.”
Brunson said following common sense and general safety precautions is advisable.
Tips from the website www.americanpyro.com include reading and following label directions, having adults present, only igniting sparklers outside and having water handy.
Fire is often a hazard, but with recent rainfall, dry conditions aren’t likely to be a problem, Anderson said.
Other tips from the website include never throwing fireworks at another, not carrying them in pockets and not shooting fireworks or sparklers in metal or glass containers.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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