Everything you need to know about Florida fireworks for the Fourth of July
What's the law?
Florida is one of 17 states that allows the use and sale of non-explosive and non-aerial fireworks, or otherwise known as "safe and sane" fireworks. Specifically, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, daygo bombs and any other firework that contains explosive or flammable compounds cannot be sold to or used by residents. To put it even more simply, you can purchase and use (on your own property) any kind of sparkler.
Despite the law, most people purchase and use fireworks that Florida would not consider "safe and sane," and they are, technically, guilty of a first degree misdemeanor and can face up to a year in prison if authorities decide to crack down - whether a waiver was signed or not. Most of the time this is simply not feasible for authorities on such a busy holiday, but it's good to know.
What fireworks are best to use with children?
Any sparkler, or "safe and sane" firework, is great for children. They have all the exciting pops, crackles and colors of regular fireworks without the unpredictability of explosions.
Just remember to (and most of this is common sense):
- Keep children at a safe distance
- Light fireworks outside
- Light one firework at a time
- Keep a bucket of water and/or hose nearby to douse expended fireworks and put out fires
- Never relight duds - wait, soak with water and throw away
Children will still have the urge to wander close and touch the fireworks out of sheer curiosity - before you light the fireworks a safe distance away and if the child is older than 3, give them glow sticks; they'll love to wave them around and watch the light trails, and they are far, far safer than handheld sparklers, which burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and are the most frequent cause of firework injury. Just make sure they don't bend or bite the glow sticks.
I hope this post has given you some peace of mind, especially if you have inquisitive little ones. While accidentally lighting the lawn on fire and running from an errant bottle rocket seems to be an American rite of passage, it's important that everyone has fun without the fear of singing eyebrows.