Fireworks Tips For the Fourth of July
Just like we did on New Year’s Eve, we’re here to wreck your fireworks fun on the Fourth of July! Like New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July is practically synonymous with backyard fireworks displays and sparklers. But before stopping by your local fireworks tent or handing a sparkler to your child, there is something very important to remember: fireworks are technically illegal in Florida!
Are Fireworks Really Illegal?
This probably seems weird to you. After all, firework shops are popping up all over the place, and everyone you know is probably planning their own exciting display. If fireworks are illegal, why is everyone using them?
It’s all thanks to one weird loophole! According to Florida Statutes, fireworks are legal if they are used “solely and exclusively in frightening birds from agricultural works and fish hatcheries.” Other exceptions include:
- Illumination or signaling for railroads or other transportation agencies
- Ceremonial purposes in athletics
- Military organizations
Of course, most people aren’t scaring away birds or lighting up railroads on the Fourth of July! If you’re one of these people, you probably don’t need to worry about getting arrested. This law is rarely enforced by police officers or fire marshals. However, if the police do get called to the scene of dangerous fireworks, it could result in a first degree misdemeanor. This could mean up to a year in jail, or a $1,000 fine.
Plus, fireworks are illegal for a reason. They can be incredibly dangerous if used improperly or irresponsibly. An accident could lead to lost limbs, severe burns, eye trauma, or blindness. In some cases, an accident may also cause death. If you’re planning to use them on the Fourth of July, follow these tips and make safety your top priority.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose on-hand for emergencies. Drop used sparklers in a bucket of water.
- Use sparklers on a flat, hard surface in an open area. Do not light them on grass.
- Keep children at least 30 feet away from all ignited sparklers.
- Be sure to also consider the safety of your pets! Animals may be afraid of loud noises, causing them to become agitated or aggressive.
- Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light a “dud.”
- Don’t use any unwrapped items or items that may have been tampered with.
- Only purchase from licensed vendors.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. After the display, children should never pick up fireworks because they may still be active.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.