Florida Fireworks Q&A: What’s legal and what’s not?

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 09:26 AM.

The Fourth of July is around the corner, a time many Americans observe their independence by sending bottle rockets into the sky, exploding miniature bombs and, unfortunately, breaking a state law. Most fireworks are illegal for consumer use in Florida, even if they're available for purchase. That can make stocking up for celebrations confusing for residents, tourists and guests alike.

To help clear up some of that confusion, the South Walton Fire District would like to share some of the questions we are typically asked along with the answers.

What kinds of fireworks can I use legally?

The short answer is not many. Fireworks generally approved for use by consumers include sparklers; small fireworks that emit colored smoke only; and "glow worms," which burn in bright colors without exploding. The state fire marshal has a full list, including brand names. This can be found at www.myfloridacfo.com/sfm/sparklerindex.htm.

So everything else is off limits?

If it explodes flies or lifts off, the law prohibits you from lighting it. That includes the popular Roman candles. Florida Statute 791 is explicit about these fireworks. Consumer purchase and use of these materials is unsafe, a threat and, most importantly, illegal in this state.

If most fireworks are illegal, why are they so widely available?

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