FIRST, PLEASE LEAVE THE FIREWORKS SHOWS TO THE PROS!
SECONDLY, REMEMBER, EXPLODING FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL IN FLORIDA.
Under Florida law, only sparklers, approved by the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal, are legal for consumer usage.
Except in circumstances when farmers use firecrackers to scare off birds and protect vegetation or fisheries, it is illegal to use exploding and/or flying fireworks in Florida, which include: shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets and firecrackers.
As a general guideline, anything that flies through the air or explodes is not allowed for consumer use. Floridians should not sign "waivers" in order to purchase fireworks. Signing a waiver will not clear a consumer of responsibility should you be caught illegally using fireworks, which is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
There is still a risk of injury with the use of legal sparklers. When lit, some sparklers can reach temperatures between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees - at least 200 degrees hotter than standard butane lighters. For a list of hundreds of sparklers that are legal to use in Florida, as well as safety tips, visit the State Fire Marshal's website at Fireworks Information.
FINALLY, To celebrate safely, Floridians who choose to use legal sparklers should follow these precautions:
- Use sparklers and other legal novelties on a flat, hard surface. Do not light them on grass.
- Use sparklers in an open area. Keep children and pets at least 30 feet away from all ignited sparklers.
- 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.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose on-hand for emergencies. It's a good idea to drop used sparklers in a bucket of water.
- Only purchase fireworks from licensed vendors.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Never carry sparklers in your pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.