Under Florida law only sparklers are legal. It is illegal to use shells, mortars, multiple tubes, Roman candles and firecrackers.
The Fourth of July is a time for everyone to come together and enjoy family and friends, but unfortunately many end up visiting emergency rooms. We want our residents and visitors to celebrate safely for the July 4th weekend and use only state approved fireworks. Under Florida law, only sparklers, approved by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, are legal for consumer usage. It is illegal to use fireworks in Florida, which include: shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets and firecrackers, without a permit.
As a general guideline, anything that flies through the air or explodes is not allowed for consumer use. Consumers should not sign “waivers” in order to purchase fireworks. Signing a waiver will not clear a consumer of responsibility should you be caught illegally using fireworks, which is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
There is still a risk of injury with the use of legal sparklers. When lit, some sparklers can reach temperatures between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees – at least 200 degrees hotter than a standard butane lighter. For a list of hundreds of sparklers that are legal to use in Florida, as well as safety tips, visit the City of Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department’s web site at www.fbfl.us under Fire Prevention and Public Education.
To celebrate safely, the Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department advises citizens to follow these precautions:
• Use sparklers and other legal novelties on a flat, hard surface. Do not light them on grass.
• Use sparklers in an open area. Keep children and pets at least 30 feet away from all ignited sparklers.
• Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light a “dud.”
• Don’t use any unwrapped items or items that may have been tampered with.
• Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose on-hand for emergencies. It’s a good idea to drop used sparklers in a bucket of water.
• Only purchase fireworks from licensed vendors.
• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them off in metal or glad containers.