TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is urging Floridians to stay safe during their New Year’s Eve holiday celebrations and to follow a few fire safety tips to keep fireworks from ending in danger.
“While we are all eager to celebrate the New Year and have a good time on New Year’s Eve, please remember it’s important to celebrate safely. Celebrating with fireworks can be fun, but can also cause an injury or property damage, and that’s the last thing anyone wants when they are having a good time,” Patronis said. “As we ring in 2022, I encourage you to follow a few fire safety tips to ensure you and your loved ones have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve.”
Patronis said about 19,500 fires happen each year thanks to fireworks not being safely set off, with the National Fire Protection Association estimating $105 million in damages nationwide from the fires.
To help Floridians have a safe and sparkly New Year’s Eve celebration, Patronis released a list of fire safety tips for the holiday.
- Stay away from unapproved sparklers – Per Florida Statute, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for updating an annual list of approved sparklers. Never use sparklers without close adult supervision.
- Throw away the duds – Relighting a dud can cause it to explode, which can lead to serious injury. If fireworks don’t light, always drench them in water to make sure they are completely extinguished.
- Protect your children – Never let young children use fireworks or sparklers as they can cause third-degree burns if not handled properly. Glow sticks are a fantastic way for young kids to celebrate safely.
- Remember your neighbors and pets – Always keep pets inside and a safe distance from fireworks. Also, be mindful that many in our state, including first responders and veterans, suffer from PTSD and your celebration could impact their symptoms.
- Always have a fire extinguisher on hand – Disposing of fireworks and sparklers the right way can prevent an accident from happening. Using water or a fire extinguisher makes sure everything is cool enough to throw away.