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

7/2/2014

Contact: Chris Cate
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater is urging Floridians to celebrate safely during upcoming Fourth of July celebrations.
 
“Independence Day weekend is a time to celebrate our country’s freedom and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, but we must be smart and remember that fires and serious injuries can be caused by the improper use of fireworks,” said CFO Atwater. “Ensure your friends and family stay safe this Fourth of July by safely and correctly using fireworks.”
 
In Florida, 120 fireworks-related incidents were responded to by fire departments across the state during the 2013-14 fiscal year. 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 also keep these safety tips in mind:
 
• Never give sparklers to young children, because 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 Florida-approved sparklers your family can enjoy, please visit: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/SFM/BFP/Documents/ApprovedSparklerList.pdf
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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.