‘Anything that leaves the ground’ is illegal
With people making plans for the July Fourth holiday weekend, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office this week reminded the public that Sarasota County ordinances “prohibit the use of fireworks without permits.”
A Sheriff’s Office Facebook post pointed out, “This includes an array of devices …” However, in an effort to keep its reminder simple, the post said, the Sheriff’s Office is advising people that the ordinances apply to “anything that leaves the ground.”
It added, “To see a list of what constitutes ‘fireworks,’ visit this link to [Florida Statute 791].”
The county ordinances do not prohibit the use of “sparklers, snake or glow worms, smoke devices, or trick noisemakers. For specifics on what exactly IS permitted,” the post continued, “visit this link.”
The post also noted, “Two other options for celebrations include simply staying inside this year (a good excuse to snuggle your pets)” or finding a public event “(if any are taking place),” and traveling there safely to enjoy the display.
Further, the post said, “If you would like to file a report this weekend regarding the suspected use of fireworks without a permit, please do not message us on social media as our account is not monitored 24/7. Instead, dial our non-emergency line at 941.316.1201 so we can respond in real time.”
The post explained, “Our Patrol Bureau will prioritize these calls and respond to those in which the caller is willing to meet. Please keep in mind it is very difficult for deputies to follow up on anonymous reports of possible “nearby” fireworks. For that reason, we ask you to provide as much detail as possible when you call.
“If deputies are dispatched to a location where fireworks are being used without a permit,” the post added, “those explosive devices are subject to seizure and citizens may face a penalty.”
Finally, the post advised the public to please use good judgment, “stay safe, and call us if you need us.”