Florida’s Fireworks Laws Examined
Summertime gatherings create some of the best memories of the year for young and old alike. There are pool parties, cookouts, and picnics that we all look forward to. A big part of most people’s summer are the wonderful fireworks displays put on by local cities and counties. But with fireworks shows, and particularly those put on by individuals, comes a risk of danger. We have learned those lessons again over this year’s holiday weekends.
The headlines seem never ending this year when it comes to fireworks injuries. One of the leading stories involved the tragic death of a young man who was killed after he tried to light fireworks off the top of his head. Then it was reported that two NFL players were injured (in separate instances) by fireworks, and that the injuries could threaten their careers. Now is a good time to look at Florida’s fireworks laws and how they apply to personal injury cases.
Florida’s Ban on Fireworks
The definition of what is and is not a firework can be difficult to pin down. But in Florida’s case the legislature has very specific guidelines for what defines a firework. It is also clear under Florida law that fireworks are specifically banned. The definitions and exact language of what is and is not allowed can be found in Florida Statutes Chapter 791. Under that statute fireworks are defined as any substance that is combustible or explosive and prepared with the purpose of producing a visible spectacle through explosion, combustion, or detonation. This includes items commonly referred to as:
- Roman Candles; and
- Dago Bombs.
Not only are these banned to use, but it is illegal to produce, distribute, or sell these fireworks in Florida.
These are the types of fireworks that are prohibited, but there are some exceptions to this ban. Included as exceptions are:
- Approved sparklers;
- Toy pistols;
- Toy canes (other toys that use power caps to make a noise);
- Snake or glow worms;
- Smoke devices;
- Trick noisemakers;
- Snappers; and
- Other, small types of fireworks.
Among the exceptions are the very small types of fireworks that have little chance of causing any injury at all.
What Happens After Fireworks Injuries
Despite laws against them, oftentimes people get a hold of illegal fireworks and set them off. At least one NFL player in the stories linked to above suffered his injuries in Florida. We don’t know if the fireworks used were authorized, but one thing is certain: victims of other’s negligent firework use should pay for the damages they inflict.
Under Florida law, each of us has a duty to act reasonably. If someone uses fireworks illegally and injures another, that is the definition of acting unreasonably. It is in those situations where personal injury attorneys like us can defend victims of negligence. At Alan Goldfarb, P.A., we represent victims of accidents and injuries in the Miami area. Contact us if you are ever injured by fireworks, car accidents, or other types. We will evaluate your case for you and give you your legal options.