Jeff Atwater Provides Safety Tips for Fireworks

In his role as state fire marshal, Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater offered safety tips for Floridians looking to celebrate Independence Day on Thursday.

“As we spend time with family and friends, I encourage Floridians to take the necessary safety precautions when celebrating our nation’s independence,” Atwater said on Tuesday, noting there were 156 fires in the state caused by fireworks and sparklers over the last 12 months. “The proper fire safety precautions can help ensure that you make only good memories this holiday.”

Atwater’s office provided the following tips:

1. 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.

2. Keep pets indoors and away from all sparklers.

3. Light only one item at a time and never attempt to relight.

4. Keep a fire extinguisher and water hose on-hand for emergencies and a bucket of water available for used sparklers.

5. Only purchase sparklers from licensed vendors.

6. Attend a public fireworks show. Many public displays sponsored by communities or organizations are presented all across Florida.

7. 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.

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