Lessons Learned from NFL Players – Know Your Florida Fireworks Laws

In the days following the busy Fourth of July holiday, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the media buzz surrounding two professional football players who experienced severe hand injuries due to fireworks they set off themselves over the weekend. In case of motor vehicle accidents beachinjurylawyers.com/motorcycle-accidents/ can help in claiming compensation but whom to consult in case of fire accident to claim compenstion ? they were muddled.Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson lost two fingers in a fireworks accident and University of South Florida graduate, Jason Pierre-Paul, also was injured to the point of needing to have his right index finger amputated.  Pierre-Paul could potentially lose a $60 million contract with the New York Giants over concerns with his health.  The Giants have said they “fully intend” to keep Pierre-Paul on their roster, but nothing has been confirmed at this point.

Many of us enjoy lighting our own fireworks displays for the 4th, but how safe is this exactly and is it even legal? Should there be enhanced regulation when it comes to the purchase of fireworks by consumers in Florida?  These may be questions you find yourself wondering the answers to in the wake of hearing about the unfortunate mishaps that occurred over the holiday weekend.

What are the Fireworks Regulations in Florida?

Florida’s fireworks laws have recently changed and you may be surprised to learn that just because a firework is sold in the store or by a roadside vendor, does not mean that it’s legal to purchase or use it. Florida Statue 791.02 covers the rules regulating the sale of fireworks. The only fireworks that are technically allowed to be purchased without a permit are sparklers, which in addition to the handheld version also include fountain displays and others not shot off into the air.  You can check to see whether certain fireworks are approved by visiting the Florida Fire Marshal’s List of Approved Sparklers.

Florida law prohibits any fireworks that fly through the air or explode for recreational purposes, and these can only be used for agricultural purposes, such as to scare birds away from farms or fish hatcheries. Enforcing the rules can be somewhat complicated.  Police officials will respond to complaints from a resident about a neighbor’s illegal fireworks, for example, but otherwise the use of fireworks is not monitored; having said that, there can be hefty penalties (up to $1,000) and even some jail time if you are found to be illegally using fireworks.

When you purchase fireworks, you will be asked to sign a waiver acknowledging the fireworks will be used for agricultural purposes.  This exemption form does not guarantee the consumer protection from the law, but in most cases it will absolve the vendor of any legal responsibility. So technically, these forms protect the seller but do nothing to protect you, the end user.

We hope everyone will take this into consideration for future fireworks purchases and hope it was a safe holiday for all. If you have questions over the laws in Florida regulating the sale and use of fireworks, contact Tampa personal injury attorney TJ Grimaldi today.