Part of the Independence Day holiday means the sights and sounds of fireworks. If you decide to do your own show, keep in mind what is legal and illegal in Florida. Here is important safety information in this News 13 Problem Solver report.
Panama City Fire officials say in recent years, more than 25,000 fires, started by the misuse of fireworks, have cost tens of millions of dollars in property damage across the nation. You may not know it, but fireworks that leave the ground are prohibited in the state of Florida. Professional displays are the exception. According to Panama City Fire Chief Wayne Watts, "The last estimates that we have show that between 12 to 20-thousand injuries a year related to fire works."
Here are some of the fireworks prohibited in the state of Florida:
These are some of the items legal to use in the state:
Chief Watts says sometimes, even sparklers can lead to injury. They burn at a very hot 1200 degrees and should not be given to children. The chief says, "The problem you have there is people think when the wire has burned out, you can just toss it on the ground and you don't have to worry about it. The wire actually stays hot for a very long time. People underestimate the damage they can do. I won't say they are safe. They are relatively safe as fireworks go."
And another important note from Chief Watts involving firearms and shooting into the air. He says some people do that as part of their celebration. Only problem…the chief says that bullet can gain speed on its way back down and possibly injure someone. If that happens, you could wind up in court.