Fireworks and campfires pose wildfire risks year-round, and the Florida Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is encouraging all to use caution as they celebrate the New Year.
Floridians and visitors should check local laws before using fireworks. Local fire and police departments and the Florida State Fire Marshal can also provide guidance. People planning to use fireworks should follow these safety tips:
- Follow all county or city fireworks laws;
- Light fireworks on a cleared area, free of any vegetation or debris;
- Remove all debris from roofs or decks where fireworks could land;
- Always have a water source available in case of a fire;
- Aim fireworks away from people, homes and wooded areas;
- Do not allow young children to light or handle fireworks;
- Never use homemade fireworks;
- Discard used fireworks in a bucket of water;
- Store unused fireworks and lighters out of the reach of children;
- Clean up all debris from fireworks; and
- Report any fires immediately to 911.
Since Jan. 1, 2018, over 2,200 wildfires have burned more than 136,000 acres across Florida. “Our state has suffered enough catastrophic events this year,” said Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service. “It’s imperative now more than ever to avoid further tragedy by being aware and following the law, ensuring the safety of your neighbors, friends and family.”
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.