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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Provides 6 Firework Safety Tips for Fourth of July

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Americans celebrate the birth of our nation this Fourth of July, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis reminds Floridians to take extra precaution when using fireworks. Every year, fireworks start approximately 18,500 fires and cause around $43 million in direct property damage nationwide.
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “As Floridians enjoy this Independence Day, it’s critical to always use simple safety tips when handling fireworks. Each July 4th, thousands of people— often times children and teens—are injured while using consumer fireworks. In 2017, fireworks were responsible for an estimated 12,900 emergency room injuries. Don’t let your holiday turn into a tragedy.”
6 Fireworks Safety Tips
1. Consider attending a professional fireworks show – The best opportunity to protect yourself and your family from fireworks injuries is to let a trained professional handle the fireworks. Consider finding a local fireworks show in your area to enjoy.
2. Light one firework/sparkler at a time and never relight a dud – If too many fireworks are lit at one time, it can cause confusion about which ones are active, leading to possible injury or fire. Duds can malfunction and explode improperly if you try to relight them. It is best to douse them with water to ensure they are fully extinguished.
3. Beware of allowing young children to play with sparklers – Fireworks or sparklers can reach temperatures of more than 1200 degrees, which can cause third degree burns. For a fun and flame-free way to light up the night, consider picking up a few glow sticks for young kids to play with.
4. Keep pets indoors – Pets can become distressed when fireworks are launched and this can create more confusion and chaos, increasing the risk they will run loose or get injured. Pets should be kept inside and as far away as possible from fireworks.
5. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby – Be careful of how you dispose of fireworks and sparklers and make sure you always have a fire extinguisher or water hose on hand. Once fireworks have stopped working, they are still extremely hot and need to be cooled off with water or a fire extinguisher so they can be disposed of properly.
6. Only purchase approved sparklers – Per Florida Statute, the State Fire Marshal’s Office maintains an annual list of approved sparklers that have been tested and found to meet the requirements for sparklers. Sparklers should only be used under close adult supervision.
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