Public safety personnel prepare for 4th
by Michelle Babcock
June 30, 2013 12:00 AM | 1650 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services are preparing for a busy Fourth of July and caution people to be safe while celebrating the holiday.

The GDNR is participating in Operation Dry Water, a three-day multi-agency initiative with the mission of educating boaters about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol on the water that ends today.

Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver said in a release that boating can be safe and enjoyable when people stay alert and follow the rules.

“We are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters,” Weaver said. “You will see our officers out on the water looking for boaters who are operating a vessel under the influence.”

The GDNR said it is illegal to operate a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, “BUI continues to be a problem across the U.S.”

This year, GDNR conservation rangers have reported 71 arrests so far on Georgia state lakes and waterways. In 2012, there were 180 total arrests.

Cherokee County Fire and EMS spokesperson Tim Cavender said the majority of fireworks injuries occur during the four-week period around Independence Day.

“On the Fourth of July itself, fireworks usually start more fires nationwide than all other causes combined,” Cavender said.

About 7,000 people are treated nationwide for injuries related to fireworks every year and most accidents involve children, Cavender said in a release.

The release stated that sale and use of “most types of fireworks, including firecrackers, skyrockets, and cherry bombs, are still illegal in Georgia and punishable by a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.”

According to the release, Georgia law states that legal fireworks include “Wire or wood sparklers of 100 grams or less of mixture per item; other sparkling items which 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; snake and glow worms; trick noise makers which include paper streamers, party poppers, string poppers, snappers, and drop pops each consisting of 0.25 grains or less of explosive mixture.”

Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather offered there safety tips:

• Always read and follow label directions.

• Only use fireworks outdoors.

• Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.

• Only light one firework at a time.

• Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.

• Fireworks should only be used with close adult supervision.

• Never give fireworks to small children.

• Be sure to have water handy.

• Never throw fireworks at another person.

• Remember to call 911 for emergencies.

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