Serious injuries, such as burns and disfigurement, can follow an accident involving fireworks, so Georgia regulates them strictly. State and local laws apply to both sellers and consumers.
You must be 18 years old to buy or sell fireworks, and you can only use them at certain times. Your county or city may also restrict the use of fireworks. You can never use fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Georgia requires anyone selling fireworks to obtain a license, pass an inspection, and carry liability insurance.
Georgia’s Definition of Consumer Fireworks
Georgia Rules and Regulations Chapter 120-3-22 defines consumer fireworks as “any small fireworks devices containing restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition, designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion.”
Common consumer fireworks you can buy include:
- Wheels and Spinners
- Sky Flyers
- Crackle and Strobe
- Bottle Rockets
- Smoke and Punk
- Aerial Items (Cakes)
- Display Shells
- Roman Candles
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Georgia Only Allows the Use of Fireworks at Certain Times
You can shoot fireworks between 10:00 A.M. and 11:59 P.M. However, your local noise ordinance laws come into effect during those times. The only exception to these local ordinances occurs on Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Independence Day includes the 3rd and 4th of July. Memorial Day includes the last Saturday and Sunday in May.
December 31st is the only day you can shoot fireworks past midnight. The cutoff time is 1:00 A.M. on January 1st.
Georgia Prohibits Using Fireworks in Certain Areas
You cannot shoot fireworks indoors or in the right of way of a public road, street, highway, or railroad. Additionally, you cannot shoot off fireworks within 100 yards of:
- Electric plants
- Electric substation
- Water treatment plants
- Waste-water treatment plant
- Gas Stations or any retail store which stores over 500 gallons of fuel
- Public air space, like a helipad or airport
- Public parks or registered historical sites
- Hospital or nursing home
- Jail or prison
You Cannot Use Fireworks in a Drought
Whenever the Governor of Georgia declares a drought, fireworks are off-limits in the designated areas.
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Using Fireworks Under the Influence
Georgia strictly prohibits any person from using fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance.
The police can check to see if you are under the influence while firing explosives in your front yard.
Selling Fireworks in Georgia
Anyone operating a retail sales facility or wholesale facility must obtain a fireworks distributor license from the Safety Fire Commissioner. The initial fee is $5,000, and the license expires on January 31st of the following year.
For a store owner, the initial fee is $1,500, plus $250 for each store. These permits are not transferable; you must license every store location where you sell fireworks. These licenses cost $1,000, as well as $100 per store to renew them.
You have until December 1 of your initial license to apply for renewal. If you received your initial license on or after that date, you have until the first business day of the next year to submit your application.
Other Requirements for Selling Fireworks
Aside from securing a license, anyone selling fireworks must also meet additional requirements to ensure public safety.
Inspection of Store or Wholesale Facility
Your store or warehouse must meet the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) minimum fire safety and construction requirements. You must submit an inspection report along with your license application.
Public Liability and Product Liability Insurance
An accident in a fireworks store can have a deadly, far-reaching impact. You will want an insurance policy that accounts for such a risk.
Georgia mandates that store owners carry a minimum of $2 million in public liability and product liability insurance to cover any potential losses, damage, and injuries.
Notice to Consumers
Since fireworks are so dangerous and heavily regulated, you need to ensure your consumers are aware of the applicable laws.
Georgia requires store owners to post a sign, measuring at least 22 by 28 inches, that reads:
“Please check your local ordinances prior to using or igniting consumer fireworks. Please use consumer fireworks in accordance with their affixed caution and warning labels. Please be a good neighbor and be mindful that unannounced ignition near some military veterans and other persons and near some pets can be traumatic.”
Age Requirements for Buying or Selling Fireworks in Georgia
You must be 18 years or older to buy fireworks. Fireworks can only be sold in face-to-face transactions, which means you cannot buy fireworks over the internet or phone in Georgia. Retailers are required to ask for government ID upon any sale of consumer fireworks.
You also must be 18 to sell fireworks, but anyone who is 16 or 17 years old can assist with the sale of consumer fireworks.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Case in Atlanta
If you suffered injuries in a fireworks accident, we can help you pursue compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Whether you suffered injuries in a store, at Piedmont Park, or elsewhere in Atlanta, our personal injury lawyers can investigate your accident and gather evidence of negligence.
We offer free consultations. Call (404) 888-8888 to speak with a compassionate team member.