NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
June 26, 2009
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420


Many local residents are stocking up on fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July, but the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office wants to remind everyone to put safety first during the holiday.

Keep in mind this simple fact: anything that explodes or flies is prohibited in Florida, including firecrackers, skyrockets, and Roman candles. The use of illegal fireworks is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine. Deputies will also be confiscating any illegal fireworks they encounter when responding to complaints.

    In the meantime, here are some basic safety tips that should never be ignored:

* Always follow the directions.

* Provide adult supervision for children at all times.

* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

* Always have a bucket of water or garden hose at hand.

* Never throw fireworks at other people.