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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater Reminds Floridians to Celebrate Safely this Fourth of July

7/2/2013

Contact: Anna Alexopoulos
850-413-2842

TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater today urged Floridians to celebrate safely during upcoming Fourth of July celebrations.
 
“As we spend time with family and friends, I encourage Floridians to take the necessary safety precautions when celebrating our nation’s independence,” CFO Atwater said. “The proper fire safety precautions can help ensure that you make only good memories this holiday.”
 
In the 2012/2013 fiscal year, there were 156 fires in Florida caused by sparklers or fireworks. Ensure that you have a safe holiday by checking the Division of State Fire Marshal list of more than 2,000 sparklers that are approved for use in Florida. Anyone purchasing fireworks should keep these safety tips in mind:
 
• Never give sparklers to young children, as sparklers can reach temperatures between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees, at least 200 degrees hotter than a standard butane lighter. 
• Keep pets indoors and away from all sparklers.
• Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light.
• Keep a fire extinguisher and water hose on-hand for emergencies and a bucket of water available for used sparklers.
• Only purchase sparklers from licensed vendors.
• Attend a public fireworks show. Many public displays sponsored by communities or organizations are presented all across Florida.
 
Floridians should not sign “waivers” in order to purchase fireworks.  Signing a waiver will not clear a consumer of responsibility if caught illegally using fireworks.
 
For a complete list of the hundreds of Florida-approved sparklers for your family to enjoy, please visit http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/SFM/BFP/ApprovedSparklerLists.htm.  
 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses; and providing transparency and accountability in spending.