COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Planning to shoot fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July?

It’s legal in Georgia, but it’s also important to know when and where it’s legal.

Here’s what the state has to say:

It wasn’t always legal to shoot fireworks in Georgia

Before July 1, 2018, the only times Georgians could enjoy fireworks were big, organized celebrations–Independence Day, New Years, that sort of thing.

Then in 2005, Georgia laws loosened to allow the sale of “novelty” fireworks, like sparklers.

But if you wanted to buy and set off your own, you had to visit other states.

What’s legal?

According to the State of Georgia, you can legally use fireworks any day of the week between 10 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.

Local governments can restrict these times with a general noise ordinance. But there are some holidays where using fireworks is legal until 11:59 p.m. regardless of local ordinances:

  • Memorial Day (the last Saturday and Sunday in May, but not the Monday of Memorial Day)
  • Independence Day (July 3 and 4)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31 through 1 a.m. on Jan. 1)

So no matter what your general noise ordinance is, you can fire fireworks in Georgia on July 3 and 4 until midnight.

What’s not legal?

While it’s important to know what you can do, it’s often more important to know what you can’t do. Here are the legal restrictions on using fireworks in Georgia.

According to the state’s website, It is illegal to use fireworks within 100 yards of any of these places:

  • Electric plant
  • Water treatment plant
  • Waste-water treatment plant
  • Gas station
  • Refinery
  • Electric substation
  • Jail or prison
  • Helipad
  • Hospital
  • Nursing home
  • Other healthcare facility

It is also illegal to use fireworks within state property, including parks, historic sites and recreational areas.

Georgia law also prohibits a person from using fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you live in or are visiting a private community this Fourth of July, it’s a good idea to check with the community before shooting fireworks. Private communities can set their own rules about fireworks use.