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CFO and State Fire Marshal Atwater Says Be Safe, Not Sorry:

7/1/2015

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413-2860
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who also serves as Florida’s State Fire Marshal, urges Floridians to celebrate safely with fireworks this year. Summer is the season most associated with the use of fireworks, and it is important to use caution and to remember that fireworks can be dangerous when used improperly. In fact, Florida firefighters responded to nearly 200 fireworks-related incidents in 2014 and according to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on July 4th than on any other day.
 
To ensure that Florida families stay safe this season, they are encouraged to keep the following tips in mind:
 
Contact local officials. Check to see if your local community has imposed a ban on private fireworks due to the drought conditions.
 
Use only approved products. Many dangerous and illegal fireworks, rockets and explosive devices are readily available for purchase. By Florida law, these are unlawful for private fireworks displays and are significantly more likely to cause fires.
• Do not sign a waiver in order to purchase illegal fireworks. Signing a waiver will not clear a consumer of responsibility if caught illegally using fireworks.

• Only purchase sparklers from licensed vendors.
 
Control your environment. Sparklers should be used only on sand, concrete or another non-flammable surface, away from brush, trash or other objects that could catch fire.
• Never give sparklers to young children, as they can reach temperatures between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees, which is 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.
 
Be prepared. Have a fire extinguisher or a hose and a bucket of water readily available.
 
Attend a public fireworks show. Be safe, not sorry. The best way to protect your loved ones this year is to attend one of the many public displays sponsored by communities or organizations all across Florida.
 
For a complete list of Florida-approved fireworks Florida families can enjoy, visit:
 
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