Officials urge caution as fireworks sales boom ahead of July 4

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Fourth of July and fireworks go hand-in-hand, but experts are urging backyard pyros to be cautious as the fireworks business booms ahead of the holiday.

Don Surenkamp, Owner of Patriotic Fireworks said his business is busier than ever for a number of reasons.

“This is the first time fireworks are legal, the holiday falls on a Saturday, so that helps, and a lot of the big events are cancelled,” he said.

Surenkamp said his staff often points novice users to simpler fireworks, and instruct them on how to safely light them.

First responders are gearing up for a potentially busy night with the cancellation of many large fireworks events.

“We understand that there’s just not a lot available this year but take the time to take extra safety precautions so that you don’t cause yourself injury or injure somebody else,” said John Reed, Fire Marshal with Tampa Fire Rescue.

He recommends a number of tips to light fireworks safely:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective gear for eyes, hands and body
  • Use a grill/wand lighter
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire

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