Going to public fireworks displays is the best approach, fire officials say. Not only are these displays bigger and brighter, the federal government bans the sale of most fireworks to the public. In Florida, consumer use of fireworks by the public (including firecrackers, skyrockets and Roman candles) is illegal.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks cause an estimated 18,500 reported fires per year, and sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier offers these safety tips when handling sparklers:
- Children should not use sparklers without very close adult supervision.
- Always remain standing while using sparklers.
- Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
- Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.
- Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.
- Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop the spent sparklers directly in a bucket of water. Sparklers can reach 1200 degrees.
- Never hand over a lighted sparkler to another person. Do not throw sparklers.
- Never use sparklers indoors or near vehicles.
For more information on sparkler and fireworks safety, contact the Sarasota County Fire Prevention Office at 941-861-2290 or visit www.scgov.net.