As our nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day on the Fourth of July, the City of Milton Fire Department encourages you to be safe and observe Florida law regarding the possession and use of sparklers and fireworks. Although you can find a wide variety of fireworks at stands in adjoining states, and even in the local area, it is important to understand that with the exception of Independence Day (July 4 only) and New Year’s Eve/Day, only those items classified as “sparklers” are legal to use or possess in Florida. Fireworks include any object that explodes, propels itself, projects an object into the air or contains “more than 100 grams of the chemical compound which produces sparks upon burning."
Under Florida Law (Florida Statute 791.02) it is unlawful for any person to use or explode any fireworks, except on Independence Day (July 4 only) and New Year’s Eve/Day. Anyone found guilty of violating this law can be fined $1,000 or sentenced to one year in jail. Signing a waiver at a local stand only protects the vendor and does not provide any protection to the purchaser who uses the illegal fireworks. Further, anyone using illegal fireworks can be held liable for any injuries or damages accidentally caused by their use.
According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34 percent were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36 percent) of the estimated 2018 injuries.” The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports, “Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires.”
The City of Milton Fire Department encourages you to save your money and stay safe.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.