Customers need to be careful which fireworks they buy and where they shoot them off -- the laws are different between South Carolina and Georgia. (WRDW-TV / July 3, 2012)
News 12 This Morning / Tuesday, July 3, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- Lighting up the sky with bright flashes, fireworks and showers of spark start at shops like Wacky Waynes where shoppers like Katheryn Leedy are stocking up for the Fourth of July.
"I'm hoping for something safe that won't catch the neighborhood on fire," Leedy said.
As she looks for fireworks with her 8-year-old daughter, she's also eying the packaging closely to see if rockets are safe.
"I don't generally like anything that leaves the ground and she loves the big sparklers," Leedy said.
Which is a good thing, considering anything else would be illegal to use in Georgia.
Chief Danny Kuhlmann, with the Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue explained, "You can ride through neighborhoods all over the county and see illegal fireworks being fired."
Firefighters in Columbia County say illegal pyrotechnics can hurt someone easily if set off in the wrong hands. Another part of the law you might not know about in Georgia is how much ammo the firework contains. You have to look at the weight of the firework -- anything over 200 grams is illegal to set off.
"We have all the stuff that goes high in the air, makes loud noises, booms, got a lot of that that. They can't get on the Georgia side," said Mary Baker, who works at Wacky Waynes.
Some shoppers readily admit they ignore the law and buy the firecrackers that take off into the sky.
"They just want to have a good time and nice fireworks," Baker said.
But a nice time can burn a hole in your pocket, if you're not careful.
"Over $200,000 in damage just in the state of Georgia alone from illegal fireworks," Khulmann explained.
"That's why I stick with the small stuff, and plus, she's only 8, it's safer," Leedy added.