Have you stocked up for your 4th of July celebration?
Ready to light up some fireworks? Do you know the laws in Florida about lighting fireworks? Spending time in the Pinellas County Jail may not be in your plans, but it could happen if you’re not careful.
Fireworks were discovered more than 1,000 years ago in China and will typically contain the primary material of black power or gunpowder. The Oxford Dictionary defines fireworks as a device that contains gunpowder and other combustible chemicals to ignite a spectacular explosion, used for display or in celebrations. This definition closely matches Florida statutes which specify that fireworks are anything that launches into the sky using flammable compounds, tablets, or any explosive substances.
Examples of traditional fireworks include:
● Roman Candles
● Dago Bombs
In Florida, fireworks manufacturers and sellers are authorized to sell fireworks around the following three “designated holidays”:
● Fourth of July
● New Year’s Eve
● New Year’s Day
However, fireworks for purchase are easy to find outside of the authorized timeframe. Due to their agricultural advantages, the Florida legislature legalizes the sale of fireworks for retailers. Retailers are then able to avoid liability when those who purchase fireworks agree to sign a waiver stating that the purchase is for agricultural purposes. By breaking this law and lying on the form, you could be subject to a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
When Can You Launch Your Fireworks?
Yet, if you have legally purchased your fireworks and are eager to set them off, you may wonder when you are legally authorized to launch. For launching fireworks, you are also bound by Florida law. You will be limited to only lighting fireworks on three days of the year: Independence Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Certain cities and towns have local ordinances that predated Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ law that he signed into place. The law does not specify when the fireworks can begin or must end by; however, nearly every community prohibits excessive or unreasonable noise. If you are unsure if your city of Homeowner’s Association (HOA) authorizes fireworks, contact them before purchasing.
Further, your city or HOA can guide you on specifics regarding when you can start and should end your firework festivities.
Illegally launching your fireworks prior to one of the authorized holidays can result in misdemeanor charges for noise or public disruption. This same charge will also apply if you set off a firework in a city or HOA that bans such actions.
Further, you could be held liable both criminally and financially for any damage or discrepancy caused as a result of your actions.
While using fireworks during the authorized window, we want to urge safety. Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and fun celebration with fireworks:
● Use approved sparklers. This list can be found here on the My Florida CFO website.
● Properly dispose of fireworks and sparklers after use.
● Never attempt to re-light a malfunctioning firework.
● Always have a fire extinguisher or a water source to use in case of fire.
● Never light a firework or sparkler indoors.
● Never hold a lit firework in hand or stand over a lit firework.
● Watch your children and pet to ensure they are at a safe distance.
● Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
One of the biggest safety tips that we want to take the time to focus on is remembering others, your neighbors, and their pets. In doing this, you are practicing firework etiquette. There are many, from combat veterans, individuals who have PTSD, or even your dog, that struggle to enjoy the sounds of fireworks. That sudden and unexpected crack or boom is startling and creates a visceral reaction in others. Consider practicing these etiquettes when using fireworks:
● Only light the fireworks during the authorized holidays
● Alert your neighbors by leaving a note or personally letting them know the time window you will use fireworks.
● Keep your fireworks to a minimum.
● Lock up your pets in a location where they can feel safe and protected.
If You Party Too Hard on the 4th of July...
Fireworks can add an extra spark to your festivities, but they can easily grow out of control if you aren’t careful. Many have faced charges of property damages, disorderly conduct, and other similar charges due to their use of fireworks. Once charged, they could potentially face hefty fines, seizure of property, and depending on the offense, jail time.
If you or a loved one end up in jail from your festivities? Let 49th Street Bail Bonds help you understand your options.
49th Street Bail Bonds provides bail for various charges, including property damage, alcohol-related offense, assault, disorderly conduct, drugs, child neglect, traffic violations, and more. 49th Street Bail Bonds serves all of Pinellas County. In addition to Clearwater and Largo, we serve clients in St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Bay Pines, Tampa Bay, and Madeira Beach.
In addition to their extensive experience, 49th Street Bail Bonds agents have a high level of knowledge in the bail bond industry. You can rely on them to guide you through the bail bond process. They can answer your questions about the criminal justice system, help you with paperwork, and explain bail bonds.
Getting a bail bond can be challenging, so don’t delay. Contact us today for help. We are also on Facebook! Call 727-592-0000 to let the Bondsman on 49th help you now.