What to Know
- Fireworks injuries spike significantly during this time of year, and officials are reminding residents to use fireworks safely
- Community leaders also urged residents to refrain from shooting guns in the sky in celebration. It's not only dangerous, but deadly.
Law enforcement and community leaders gathered Monday to plead with South Floridians to celebrate the Fourth of July safely and to discourage the public from dangerously playing with fireworks and from shooting guns into the sky.
In Broward County, law enforcement and fire officials came together to stage a demonstration with mannequins and watermelons showing what could go wrong when people play with fireworks.
Juvenile injuries spike almost ten times in the week leading up to the Fourth of July and on the day of, according to Brandon Ball, a bomb technician. Fireworks injuries can burn the face, hands, arms and legs.
The safest way to celebrate is to use sparklers from an approved list that's released by the state fire marshall every year. But even sparklers can reach up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and would need to be handled with extreme caution, officials warned.
In Miami-Dade County, community leaders urged residents to refrain from shooting guns in the sky in celebration. It's not only dangerous, but deadly. When bullets go up, they must also come down.
"It's unbelievable," community organizer Reverend Jerome Starling said at a conference in Legion Park. "For 21 years, we have come with all different municipalities asking people 'Don't fire guns,' and people are still firing guns."
"We plead with families, we beg them. Just don't fire."
Leaders and Miami police warned that police officials will be especially vigilant during the days leading up to the holiday as well as the day itself of people who break the law.
People who are caught shooting a firearm will be charged, Commander Keandra Simmons of the City of Miami police said.
"We want you to have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July because we want you to be around for the fifth of July, and the sixth of July, and the rest of the year," Rep. Cynthia Stafford said.
The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue released ways to enjoy fireworks safely:
- Always buy fireworks from approved vendors
- Never allow small children to ignite or play with fireworks
- Light fireworks in a combustible-free area such as a driveway or other paved surface
- Never attempt to relight or alter malfunctioning fireworks
- Always keep water nearby
- Light one firework at a time, and move away quickly
- Children under the age of 10 should be supervised when handling sparklers
- STOP, DROP and ROLL
- Leave it to the professionals: The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a public fireworks display that is put on by trained professionals
- Fireworks and alcohol do not mix
- In case of a fire or burn emergency: Call 9-1-1 immediately
Click here for additional fireworks safety tips.