The CDC reports that in 2005, 4 people died and more than 10,000 people had to go to the emergency room because of fireworks-related injuries.
Lighting many types of fireworks is banned in the Sunshine State. However, selling them isn't. But just because the rest are legal, doesn't mean you don't have to be careful.
For those not content to sit back and watch the professionals light fireworks, there are plenty of places to pick up your own.
Kristina Sapp has been selling fireworks for fifteen years. Her stand only has fireworks that are both legal to sell and legal to use. But she says about half of her potential customers come in asking for fireworks that are banned to light, without knowing the rules.
"Especially with Florida and the hot weather, I feel the aerials, it's unsafe to shoot them," says Sapp. "It can burn someone's house or trees down. With all the recent wildfires, I don't think it's a good idea. I like them to be safe, sane and on the ground."
Several years ago, she watched some illegal fireworks hit a friend's daughter in the face. She says she'll never take a chance like that again.
"The best rule for consumers is if it goes up or blows up, basically if it can propel itself off the ground or detonate in any way, it is illegal," says Megan Crandall at Alachua County Fire Rescue. "We just want people to recognize that before they start lighting some of their things in the backyard."
Although just about everyone knows that illegal fireworks can be dangerous. So can innocent looking sparklers.
"A sparkler burns between 1300 and 1800 degrees," says Crandall. "You're not going to let your child but their hand in an oven that is 350 degrees. Why are you going to have them hold something that's hot enough to melt gold?"
Sapp says it doesn't make sense to sell something you aren't allowed to legally use.
"If you're going to make it illegal to shoot off, you shouldn't even be allowed to sell them," says Sapp.
Crandall says with all fireworks, make sure you always have a bucket of water or hose handy. Always have parental supervision for children. Light one sparkler or firework at a time and don't use one to light another. And she recommends you soak used fireworks in water overnight before throwing them away in your garbage.
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV20 News
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