With the Fourth of July holiday, we're all looking for some time off with friends and family amid a fireworks show. Unfortunately, too many of those at-home firework shows turn into serious accidents. And that's why, under Florida law, only sparklers, approved by the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal, are legal for consumer usage.
In Florida, it's also illegal to use exploding and/or flying fireworks. This includes firecrackers, rockets, roman candles, shells and mortars and multiple tube devices.
“If you choose to celebrate with fireworks, protect your family and friends by following the proper safety practices,” said Jeff Atwater, the Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal.
Our Lehigh Acres injury lawyers understand that there are going to be many families out celebrating this Fourth of July with friends and family members. If you're going to be lighting off any kind of fireworks, make sure that they're legal and safe. There were more than 270 fires caused by fireworks in 2011. Not only did these fires cost close to $750,000 in property damage, but they led to injury as well.
According to the Division of State Fire Marshal, there are over 2,000 fireworks that are approved for use in Florida. When you're using these fireworks, you're urged to follow these safety tips:
-Never allow children to play with any sparklers. These devices can heat up to anywhere between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees and can serve up some serious risks for injuries.
-Make sure that all pets are kept away from areas in which fireworks are being lit.
-You only want to light off one firework at a time.
-Never try to make or alter your own fireworks.
-Stay away from those lighting fireworks. They have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
-Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
-If a firework doesn't go off, or is a "dud", don't attempt relighting it. Simply disregard it in a bucket of water.
-Make sure that you're keeping a bucket of water nearby of a hose.
-Make sure that you're only getting your fireworks from a licensed supplier.
-Always light fireworks on a hard, flat and level surface to insure the stability of the products. Grass is generally not suitable for any firework intended to be used in an upright position. If lighting fireworks on grass, lay down a flat wooden board for a shooting surface.
-Make sure you're not lighting off any illegal fireworks. Florida law classifies it as a first-degree misdemeanor, which means those convicted could face up to a year in a prison, a $1,000 fine and court costs.
-Your safest bet is to attend a public fireworks show. This is your safest (and probably most entertaining) option.