Our Voice of the Viewer report comes from a viewer concerned about the location of a new fireworks store called Phantom Fireworks.
It’s located in a strip mall on Abercorn & Apache Avenue, on Savannah’s Southside. She told News 3 she worried that it’s not safe and could be a fire hazard because it’s connected to other businesses.
News 3’s Courtney Cole did some research to learn more about the process of opening a commercial fireworks retail store.
After making some phone calls and doing some digging, I learned that it takes many steps before a commercial fireworks store can open to the public.
Although it may seem like Phantom Fireworks just popped up our of nowhere, that’s not the case.
Phantom Fireworks opened its doors on Savannah’s Southside three weeks ago in April.
But before anyone could walk down these aisles and choose from the wide and colorful array—the shop had to receive its business license from the state and a separate license to carry and sell fireworks, from the state fire marshal.
The Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner web page lists all of the licensed facilities by county, so I checked there first.
Once I found ‘Phantom Fireworks’ on the list, then I reached out to Mark Keller, the spokesman for Savannah Fire Department. He explained the role the fire marshal plays in the process.
“They’ll review the plan and make sure that they’re in compliance as far as the sprinkler system goes, the fire alarm system goes,” Keller told News 3.
Will Wygant, the manager at Phantom Fireworks, says it’s a very meticulous process.
“We take a lot of particular care that all of the fuses are covered, that aisles are certain lengths, that we have enough emergency kits, fire extinguishers, sprinklers overhead to make sure that if there ever was an accident, it’s handled very, very quickly and very effectively,” said Wygant.
The City of Savannah also has their own set of inspections the business must pass, along with zoning approval.
Wygant said there are company codes he must meet as well, for the safety of the shoppers.
“We take extra care on top of that to make sure that none of the customers come in with cigarettes, lighters, matches, tobacco products, or other e-cigs, things that could possible cause an incident. We ask that you take all of those things back out to your car.”
So if you’re someone that enjoys shopping or eating at the strip mall on Abercorn and Apache, now you know that the plans, the layout, and the building that houses Phantom Fireworks has been thoroughly reviewed and inspected before opening for business.