By: Charlene Cristobal
July 3, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Most people think they know the law when it comes to fireworks in Florida. Tallahassee Resident Scott Troupe says, "It's my understanding that anything that has any kind of, like, a little explosion would be something that would be more dangerous." He is correct, but what fireworks are considered illegal?
According to Lt. Mike Bellamy of the Tallahassee Fire Department, "Those are the ones that leave the ground, so anything that you light that goes up in the air is going to be illegal in the state of Florida."
According to officials, sparklers, fountains and similar fireworks are the only legal kinds allowed in Florida. However, they're also some of the most dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that, on average, 240 people go to the ER during the 4th of July holiday for firework-related injuries. Sparklers, were the cause of 31% of those injuries.
Most people also don't know they could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, one year of jail time and/or a $1,000 fine. If you're going to be setting off fireworks, officials say make sure to put them in a bucket of water before tossing them out.
Pets are also a big concern for families. According to the Dog Channel, July 5th is the busiest day for shelters for taking in strays. Vets say that's because animals don't deal well with the loud bangs and pops that fireworks make. This can cause them anxiety for years to come.
Vets say that, if they run away, make sure they're micro-chipped. George Simmons of the North Florida Animal Hospital says, "Having them microchipped is so important because they either go to the shelter, or they get picked up by the shelter or someone takes them to a veterinary hospital, everybody has scanners. And so we, beep beep, get their number and we know where mom and dad are."
He also recommends always keeping a collar on your pets to so they can be easily identified.