12 Firework Safety Tips
Independence Day Celebrations
Americans have been celebrating the Fourth of July ever since the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Early Independence Day festivities included concerts, parades, bonfires, and highly questionable mock funerals for Mad King George III. Originally, these patriotic celebrations were organized by rich, aspiring political leaders who wanted to gain voter support in their respective cities. Today, this federal holiday is renowned for family get-togethers, outdoor barbeques, and explosive firework events.
Firework Laws in Florida
Last June, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tried to prepare Americans for the Fourth of July by releasing the “2018 Fireworks Annual Report.” According to this report, 9,100 Americans – including countless Floridians – are rushed to hospital emergency rooms each year due to fireworks-related injuries. Sadly, over 3,000 of these cases are young children.
In Florida, a resident could face misdemeanor charges if they’re caught setting off fireworks for recreational purposes. This law does not encompass sparklers and similar novelties, which have been authorized for consumer usage by the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal.
Without a permit, it is illegal to purchase and utilize fireworks that explode, shoot, and/or fly into the sky. This policy includes, but is not limited to:
- Roman candles
- Shells and mortars
- Tube devices
Unfortunately, this law hasn’t stopped Floridians from abusing a legal loophole that allows residents to sell and purchase fireworks to frighten birds away from “agricultural works and fish hatcheries.” So far, stores have managed to avoid legal problems and liability issues by having customers sign waivers (no questions asked) that confirm they know and understand Florida’s fireworks laws.
How Can I Safely Enjoy Holiday Fireworks?
Panama City Beach, Sarasota, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale – many cities throughout Florida proudly host grandiose fireworks events to celebrate the Fourth of July and American independence. These family-friendly festivals are the safest way to enjoy spectacular fireworks displays because they are operated by professional pyrotechnicians. As a bonus, organizers often schedule live entertainment options and plan activities for children.
Of course, some people prefer celebrating this holiday in a more intimate setting. At The Pittman Firm, P.A., we do not condone the illegal use of fireworks; however, we do recognize that a party can get out of hand, especially when drinking is involved, and that a guest may be the victim of another’s reckless actions and purchasing choices. For this reason, we have compiled the following list of fireworks safety tips to help you stay safe during any holiday party:
- Keep a safe distance away if a person is attempting to light a firework.
- Do not allow anyone to light an item in a metal or glass container.
- Make sure children and pets are at least 30 feet away from any ignited sparklers.
- Avoid placing any part of your body directly over a device when it’s being lit.
- Do not pick up or relight a “dud” item that failed to fully ignite.
- Never allow young children to ignite or play with legal novelties and/or fireworks.
- Make sure an adult is always available to supervise family firework displays.
- Do not point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a hose or a bucket of water nearby to douse sparklers.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or purse.
- Avoid items that have been unwrapped or tampered with.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
Injured at a Public Event or Party? Call The Pittman Firm, P.A.
We hope that you experience many safe and inspiring Fourth of July events in the years to come. However, if you require legal assistance after being injured in a fireworks-related accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at The Pittman Firm, P.A. as soon as possible. Our lead attorney, Wes Pittman, has been providing exceptional legal services and knowledgeable guidance to the residents of the Florida panhandle for over 30 years. As such, he has a comprehensive understanding of the various laws, regulations, and legal contingencies that can impact the outcome of a personal injury, product liability, or wrongful death case. You can rely on our team to investigate your case, identify a negligent party, and help you obtain compensatory damages that facilitate your recovery process.
The Pittman Firm, P.A. represents cases throughout the United States. Contact our firm at (850) 764-0383 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.