Call today for a Free Consultation 321-253-4200

New Years is almost here and we all know what that means. New Years Eve parties and lots of people making resolutions that probably won’t last more than a week. I’m lucky, I make the same resolution each year and since you get to see part of the fruits that it bears, right here in these articles. You know, I have to keep it. That resolution is, “to do all that is in my power to help the people in my community stay safe and to find justice if tragedy should befall them.”

That being said, and New Years being just a few days away I would like to offer a few bits of advice on one of my favorite holiday subjects. No, Not drunk driving, I think I have beat that horse enough the last few weeks for you to know how I feel on the subject. This week let’s talk about things that go boom, fireworks.

Florida’s Fireworks Law

OK, first things first. Let me put on my lawyer’s hat. According to Florida Statutes Chapter, 791 just about all fireworks are illegal in the state of Florida unless you are a licensed pyrotechnician. There are a few exceptions like party poppers and sparklers, but they are few and none of what most of us would really consider fireworks. Just to make life a little easier, here is a list from the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office showing what fireworks you are allowed, as a consumer, to have.

Fireworks Reality

The above is the law, but as we all know every law has loopholes. For instance, if you have a farm you can buy rockets to scare away birds. And of course, there are always a certain number of people who just aren’t going to care what the law says. It is going to be New Years and they are going to shoot fireworks. That is the reality of it.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 12,000 people will suffer injuries severe enough to require medical treatment this year, due to fireworks. Sadly, according to the National Fire Protection Association, two-thirds of those victims will be under the age of twelve. That is also the reality of fireworks.

Fireworks Safety

If you are going to flaunt the law this New Years and risk the $1,000 fine, at least be safe about it. Here are a few tips to help your holiday celebration stay injury free.

  • Fireworks are not toys and children shouldn’t be allowed to shoot them without adult supervision.
  • Be aware that fireworks are explosive and incendiary devices. They always present a fire hazard, so pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Again, fireworks are explosive and incendiary devices never light them in your or anyone else’s hand. Maintain a safe distance.
  • Beware of duds. If a firework doesn’t perform as expected, then there is something wrong with it. Just because it didn’t go off, doesn’t mean it won’t. Fireworks that fail to go bang should be doused with water and left alone for at least thirty minutes.
  • Dispose of expended fireworks properly. It is not only good citizenry to clean up your mess; it helps reduce the risk of fires from smoldering trash. A bucket or trash can half full of water is a good place for them.

Fireworks Liability

If you are going to shoot fireworks this New Years or even just attend a professionally staged fireworks display, you should also be aware that fireworks bring with them a degree of liability.

At government sanctioned, professionally staged events it is possible that both the company handling the actual display and the organizing body could be held liable for any injuries or property damage. If you are setting the fireworks off yourself, that would be you.

If you have been sold defective fireworks then the store owner, importer or manufacturer could all possibly be held liable.

There is nothing that can put a damper on a celebration faster than someone losing an eye or finger to a mishandled firework but that is exactly how thousands of parties will end this year. Pay attention, play safe and have a joyous New Year celebration.