TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Floridians are being urged to celebrate safely on New Year’s eve and to leave the fireworks to professionals putting on public shows.
Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis says only approved sparklers and fireworks purchased for approved agricultural or industrial purposes are legal in Florida.
"Since 2014, Florida firefighters have responded to more than 50 fireworks-related incidents accounting for more than $1.5 million in property loss," State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said.
Fireworks cause an annual average of three deaths and cost $43 million in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Anyone who chooses to use fireworks or sparklers should follow these safety tips:
- Only buy sparklers from licensed vendors.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and water hose on hand, and a bucket of water available to fully extinquish used products.
- Never give fireworks to young children. Even sparklers can reach temperatures between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees, at least 200 degrees hotter than a standard butane lighter.
- Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light.
- Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks.
- Never mix fireworks and alcohol.
Floridians should not sign waivers to purchase fireworks that are illegal for personal use in Florida, he said. Signing a waiver will not clear a consumer of responsibility if caught illegally using fireworks.
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