County by county fireworks laws

by: Lorena Incl\u00E1n Updated:

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. —

It wouldn't be the Fourth of July without fireworks but before you go out buying some of your own, there are some things you should be aware of.

It's easy to get confused about what's legal and what's not because laws vary from county to county.

In St. Johns County, there are lot of fireworks that are OK to buy, but if you're caught setting them off, you're breaking the law.

Kyle Compton got a deal on fireworks at a Phantom Fireworks tent in St. Augustine. 

"I bought this one, they’re buy one, get one free and I got two strip packs of wolf pack firecrackers," said Compton.

But before he could walk away with them the seller, Rick Standifer, made him sign a waiver.

"Everybody who buys the fireworks that actually are covered by that law, we have a form they fill out saying we are aware of the laws and Phantom isn’t liable," said Standifer.

The same is true in Clay and Baker counties, but in Duval, Nassau and Putnam counties buying, and setting off flying and exploding fireworks is illegal.

This Independence Day, St. Johns County Sheriff's deputies will be out in full force looking for people who are breaking the law.

"Anything that propels through the air, that goes 'bang,' those are things that we are going to look for, not only because it’s a safety issue for everybody involved but it’s also a fire hazard," said Sgt. Catherine Payne of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. 

Fireworks sparked 120 fires in Florida last year. According to the state fire marshal, Duval County leads northeast Florida in fireworks accidents.

Since 2009, Duval County has had 42 firework-related fires; St. Johns County has had 14; Clay County has had five and Nassau County had four incidents.

Compton said he's looking forward to enjoying his Fourth of July and will celebrate by being careful.

"I’m going to shoot them off on the street, and away from trees and any people," said Compton.

In St. Johns County if you do buy fireworks that fly or explode, you can only set them off for agricultural reasons after signing a waiver. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, sparklers cause the most injuries because of how quickly they can get hot.