TAMPA, Fla. — As we get closer to the 4th of July, you're likely seeing more and more fireworks being set off in your neighborhood.
Even though there's a new law about what days people can legally set them off, there's still a way to get around that. The new law signed in April says there are three designated holidays that we can legally shoot off fireworks: the 4th of July, New Year's Eve and New Years Day.
However, you can still sign a waiver when you buy fireworks saying you are scaring birds leading many people to just set them off whenever they want.
With all the big fireworks shows canceled across Tampa Bay this year, you will likely see more backyard displays than ever. Tampa Fire Marshal John Reed says the fire departments are ready.
"Actually, we do anticipate an increase in the number of injuries and the number of responses that are going to have to be taken care of during the holiday."
There are some basic safety measures Reed says you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.
- Use a stable base to light fireworks like concrete or asphalt.
"So don't try to set up fireworks on grass where something could fall over and you have something propelling back at you."
- Make sure there's a water source nearby.
"It's always recommended, a bucket of water, a garden hose is essential to have nearby so you can have a way to extinguish a situation if it gets out of hand."
- The person lighting the fireworks should protect themselves.
"You want to have eye protection, you want to wear long sleeves if of a type of fabric that doesn't burn."
The fire marshal also says to use a long lighter to light fireworks because the further away you can be the better. He also adds that the person in charge of fireworks should never let their guard down and never walk away.
Lastly, never let children light fireworks.
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