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Public Safety Tip: Firework Safety 101

April 19, 2024

Fireworks are fun, exciting – and potentially dangerous. A little neighborhood fun can quickly turn into a significant safety hazard if you don’t follow instructions and use proper caution. 

It’s important to know the local laws regarding fireworks and how to set up, light and dispose of them safely to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property.  

Want to know how – and when – you can light up the sky safely? Keep reading for firework safety 101 in Florida.   

Are Fireworks Legal in Florida? 

First things first – is the use of fireworks even legal in the state of Florida? The answer is yes, but with restrictions. 

According to Florida law (FL Statutes 791.08), there are only a few specific days during which you are allowed to use fireworks without a permit. These designated holidays are: 

  • New Year’s Day (January 1) 
  • Independence Day (July 4) 
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31) 

These restrictions do not apply to consumer fireworks classified as 1.4G sparklers, including: sparklers, fountains, ground spinners, snakes, glow worms and party poppers. Before you begin purchasing fireworks, it’s essential to check with your local city or county government for specific regulations and restrictions in your area. This may include restrictions due to dangers from dry weather conditions.  

Purchasing Fireworks 

Once you have determined you are legally allowed to use fireworks, learn how to use them safely. When purchasing fireworks, always buy them from licensed sellers and never use homemade or illegal fireworks. Not sure how to confirm whether someone is a licensed seller? You can read more about purchasing fireworks legally in Florida here.  

Handling Fireworks 

Read all instructions from the packaging carefully. Only one person should handle lighting fireworks. This person should be sober, responsible and knowledgeable about firework safety.  

Always use fireworks outdoors in a clear, open area, away from buildings, dry grass and flammable materials. Have a bucket of water, a hose or a fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies. In addition, you should wear safety glasses and earplugs to protect your eyes and ears. 

Lighting Fireworks 

You should always use caution when lighting fireworks. Place each firework on a flat, stable surface and never hold them in your hand. Light only one firework at a time and move away quickly. 

Maintain a safe distance from the fireworks after lighting them – the packaging should describe how much distance is needed for a given type.  

If a firework doesn’t ignite, wait at least 20 minutes before approaching it. Then, soak it in water and dispose of it properly. 

Disposing of Fireworks  

Even after the fun has ended, there are still firework safety considerations for disposing of each one afterward.  

Dispose of used fireworks by soaking them in water and placing them in a metal trash can away from combustible materials. Look around to check for any duds or unexploded fireworks. These should also be soaked in water and disposed of properly. 

Remember to always keep children and pets away from fireworks. Never allow children to handle or light fireworks, and store all supplies out of reach.  

Firework Safety, Neighborhood Safety  

As a responsible citizen, it’s important to follow local laws and regulations when using fireworks, and report suspected use of illegal ones by contacting your local sheriff’s office. In addition, you should never handle fireworks if you have been drinking alcohol or using drugs.  

Want to enjoy fireworks with as little risk as possible? Consider attending a professional fireworks display for your next holiday gathering instead of using fireworks at home. You can still enjoy the magic and excitement without the added stress of safety concerns. 

The Florida Sheriffs Association is committed to helping you stay informed and safe. You can read more crime and public safety tips here.