While fireworks are a fun part of 4th of July celebrations, safety should always come first to create a safe and enjoyable time for everyone. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) reminds everyone that, even though having fun is important, knowing how to use fireworks safely is essential to avoiding fire emergencies.
The improper use of fireworks has the potential to cause fires, serious injuries and even death. Celebrate Independence Day safely by following these safety precautions:
• Always buy fireworks from approved vendors. Make sure to always read and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
• Never buy used or illegal fireworks. Anything that propels itself through the air, detonates or explodes is illegal in Miami-Dade County and is very dangerous.
• As per Senate Bill SB140, although in Miami-Dade County there are no approved vendors who are authorized to sell fireworks, such as firecrackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles, consumers who have acquired these fireworks elsewhere for recreational use are only allowed to utilize them on three specified dates each year: Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
• Light fireworks outdoors, on a driveway or other paved surface, at least 25 feet away from houses, vehicles, grassy areas, trees, and other combustible materials.
• Never aim or shoot fireworks at animals, people or into crowds.
• Light one firework at a time and remain at a safe distance from the device.
• Wear safety goggles to protect the eyes from flying debris or sparks.
• Never ignite fireworks in metal or glass containers.
• Never attempt to re-ignite “duds”, or fireworks that did not work the first time.
• Always keep a close eye on minors where fireworks are used.
• Children should be supervised when handling sparklers and fireworks, as they can cause severe burns and eye injuries.
• Sparklers, which are often considered harmless enough for children, can burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause severe third-degree burns.
• Never wear loose-fitting clothing. If you have long hair, be sure to tie it back when handling fireworks.
• STOP, DROP and ROLL: If clothing catches on fire, remember to STOP what you are doing, DROP onto the ground, cover your face, and ROLL over and over until the fire goes out.
• Prevent a trash fire by soaking used fireworks in a pail of water before throwing them in the trash.
• Keep an ABC-rated home fire extinguisher, garden hose or water bucket nearby at all times in case of an emergency.
• Celebrate 4th of July with moderation. Adults consuming alcohol should not be handling fireworks. Make sure to stay hydrated with water.
• The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a public fireworks show put on by trained professionals.
• Due to an increased use of hand sanitizers, in which the main ingredient is alcohol, be cautious when handling fireworks, as hand sanitizers are highly flammable and can cause serious burns.
Do your part to celebrate 4th of July safely. Remember that getting vaccinated, practicing social distancing, and wearing a mask is vital to help protect ourselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.
If you experience an emergency, be sure to call 9-1-1 immediately. For more information visit www.miamidade.gov/fire/