Americans are getting ready for Independence Day. For some, the celebration will include setting off their favorite fireworks. News 13 has safety information to help you and your family stay safe in this Problem Solver report.
Federal safety officials say that across the nation sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days before and after July 4th. According to Panama City Fire Chief Wayne Watts, "Last year, over 9300 people were injured due to fireworks." And in talking about those national numbers, Chief Watts says at least four deaths last year were attributed to fireworks. He also says, unfortunately, even a legal firework can cause pretty serious injury if it is not supervised properly.
Here are some of the fireworks prohibited in the state of Florida:
These are some of the items legal to use in the state:
Sometimes, even seemingly innocent fireworks like sparklers can lead to injury. Fire officials say they burn at a very hot 1200 degrees.
On another safety note, even though for some firing a gun into the air is a popular way to celebrate the holiday, it is extremely dangerous. Chief Watts says, "The bullet comes down somewhere. In fact just recently, when the Miami Heat won the NBA championship down in South Florida, we had an individual who died as the result of celebratory gunfire. So, guns should not be used to celebrate the Fourth of July."
The best bet may be to leave it to the professionals and enjoy the fireworks later this week…weather permitting. News 13 will bring you the latest information as decisions are made in the various cities.