Use Fireworks Safely to Enjoy Summer Holidays

Hooray for the red, white and blue! Americans will be celebrating Independence Day soon and especially enjoy dazzling displays of fireworks. Did you know that our tradition of using fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July began in 1777? One year after the Declaration of Independence was signed, 13 rockets were shot off in Philadelphia honoring our original 13 states.

Unfortunately, each year individuals purchase illegal fireworks or use them illegally or carelessly causing serious and even disabling accidents. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports in 2014 that 11 people were killed in accidents involving fireworks during the 30-day period around the Fourth of July and several of these were innocent bystanders. An additional 7,000 people were injured by fireworks and treated in emergency rooms.

Injuries caused by fireworks very often involve burns, especially to the fingers and hands, head, face and eyes. Because of the explosive force of pyrotechnics, injuries often are very serious resulting in permanent loss of limbs, fingers and even eyesight.

Follow Florida and Local Law When Purchasing and Using Fireworks

Federal law prohibits the sale of the most hazardous types of fireworks to consumers. These include cherry bombs, M-80's and aerial bombs.

In Florida, the law differentiates between selling and using fireworks. If you are purchasing fireworks for a private display, be sure to check with the vendor as to which products are legal for individual use with or without a permit. Many products are illegal for use by individuals in our state such as bottle rockets, mortars and Roman candles.

Those allowed for consumer use include "glow worms," sparklers and others that give off smoke when lit. You'll find a list of approved fireworks at the State Fire Marshal's website.

Using illegal fireworks can be costly: Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison.

Enjoy Your Fourth of July Fireworks Safely

Safety comes first! Enjoy a brilliant Fourth by celebrating at your local public fireworks display. If, however, you want to share fireworks at a private party, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Only buy fireworks that are legal for use.
  • Keep a water bucket and working hose nearby.
  • Get rid of any flammable objects at your location.
  • Sparklers are not for children to use alone - the chemicals can reach 1,200°!
  • If a firework fails, don't try to relight it. Douse the area with water.
  • Call 911 immediately for any fireworks-related injury.

KidsHealth.org has lots of helpful information on fireworks for parents.

We can Help With Premises Liability Cases

The Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. has extensive experience in representing victims who have been injured by fireworks or any other type of premises liability injury. You may be eligible for compensation if the accident was due to someone's negligence. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.