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You can legally set off Fourth of July fireworks in Hillsborough County, banned in Pinellas

Posted at 7:50 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 19:50:44-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — After the canceled Fourth of July celebrations last summer, the demand for fireworks sales skyrocketed.

Phantom Fireworks, the nation’s leading retailer of consumer fireworks, said this year, sales are strong again.

“Everyone is ready to put COVID behind them and get back together, start doing celebration shows if you will. We have definitely seen more customers and the sales continue to increase,” said Corey Crews, Regional Manager Phantom Fireworks.

Crews said sales went up even more after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law that allows Florida residents to legally use fireworks, during three holidays: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and July Fourth.

Tampa and Hillsborough County Fire Marshals said the local government’s fireworks ordinance follows the new state law with no additional regulations.

“Even though you know they’re legal on certain days, it doesn’t change the hazard of it. So, we just like to caution everybody just to be extra safe with them with their kids and keeping their pets inside,” said Tammy Zurla, Hillsborough County Fire Marshal.

A new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows firecrackers caused the most trips to the E.R., followed by sparklers.

“You see kids with sparklers all the time. They can reach up to 1,300 degrees. That's hot, that is really hot,” Zurla said.

If you plan on lighting up the sky on the Fourth of July, Phantom Fireworks has these tips to help you avoid injury.

“Never let children handle or use fireworks, alcohol, and fireworks do not mix, have a readily source of water available whether it be a bucket of water, fire extinguisher, garden hose,” Crews said.

Despite the state law Pinellas County is reminding residents personal fireworks are still banned, only sparklers and paper caps are allowed.

The County allows a supervised public display of fireworks only with a permit from the appropriate fire district.

The state law does not supersede any local government regulation relating to the use of fireworks. The law also allows a homeowner's association to ban fireworks within a legally executed covenant, but a board of directors cannot merely pass a fireworks ban.