What do Glitter Palms, Waterfalls, Wagon Wheels and Rings have in common?

Fireworks can be a beautiful sight to behold, as the brightly colored displays explode in the nighttime sky with sounds of sizzling, crackling, popping, whistling and booming. And for residents across Florida looking to set off their own pyrotechnic displays during the coming 4th of July weekend, the recent lifting of the “burn bans” in many counties comes as welcome news.

Florida Division of Forestry’s official map of counties with and without “burn bans” and fireworks restrictions (as of June 30, 2011). Please follow all official advisories and restrictions.

But although the rain showers the past few days have helped remove the extreme drought conditions in many areas of the state – bringing the threat of wildfires down – people should still heed ol’ Smokey the Bear’s fire prevention advice and use caution when setting off fireworks or starting bonfires.

Check out this Safety List for things to keep in mind as you’re lighting up the sparklers and firecrackers this weekend:

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

To find out more about how to enjoy your holiday weekend safely, go to www.redcross.org

(Oh, and the answer to the title of this post? They are all types of fireworks!)

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