Firework sales are booming; safety officials warn of fire risks

More planning a 4th of July at home

With many community fireworks shows canceled because of the pandemic, research shows more Americans are planning home displays this year.

Safety officials are concerned there will be a spike in fireworks injuries this summer.

Phantom Fireworks manager Candice Bryant said they can barely keep fireworks on the shelves because many people have been coming in and buying their own.

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As COVID-19 concerns force the cancellation of Fourth of July events across the area, families are in stores shopping for their own celebrations.

Stores in St. Johns County are keeping busy with safety in mind.

“We can’t keep up with the inventory,” Bryant said.

Bryant said she has also noticed an increase in customers this week.

“We’ve seen a lot more business than we were anticipating. Everyone in St. Johns County, St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Ponta Vedra, I know everyone is changing their plans downtown for not showing off their fireworks, so they want to do their own fireworks in their own backyard,” Bryant said.

Bryant credits the pandemic for the increase.

“If they don’t feel comfortable with wearing a mask, then we will have to ask them to come back on a different day with a mask,” Bryant said.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 10,000 people were treated in the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries last year, and 12 people also died.

If you plan to use fireworks, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following:

  • Never let young children play or light fireworks, including sparklers. They can burn at 2,000 degrees.
  • Never try to relight or pick up malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water or hose nearby just in case.

Officials also say before setting off fireworks in your backyard, check out your local fireworks ordinance.

A law passed earlier this year made fireworks legal on the Fourth of July and New Year's in Florida.

State Sen. Travis Hutson, of St. Augustine, introduced the legislation.

As more people plan to celebrate the 4th of July from home, health experts are worried more people could end up in hospitals with fireworks related injuries.