3 To Know: City issues fireworks warning

Marco Eagle

1. When thunder roars, go indoors!

Summer is the peak season in Florida for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena – lightning.

On average, lightning accounts for more deaths per year than tornados. The safest place to be during lightning activity is a large enclosed building.  If you are away from a building, the second safest location is an enclosed vehicle (car, van, etc.), but not a convertible, on a bike, or in other topless or soft top vehicles. If you are caught outdoors with no shelter nearby, stay away from tall trees. Crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as the tree is tall.

Credit: Evgeny Sergeev, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Historically, the months of June, July and August are the deadliest months for lightning strikes in South Florida. This is due to the combination of the region’s near daily thunderstorms and the plethora of outdoor activities held during this time when children are out of school. Nevertheless, lightning is a threat year-round in South Florida.

Lightning safety tips for inside the home include:

Avoid contact with corded phones.

Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm arrives.

Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry.

Stay away from windows and doors; stay off porches.

Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

For more information visit lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

2. E-Notifications now available as text messages

Collier County residents and visitors are now able to receive Collier County Government’s E-Notifications as text messages.

“More and more people are relying primarily on cell phones for all their communication needs,” said Mike Sheffield, director of Collier County’s Communication and Customer Relations Division. “Being able to receive meeting notices, event announcements and emergency information via text message, in addition to email, is just another level of service we can provide to our residents.”

To sign up for E-Notifications and/or text messages, go to colliercountyfl.gov  and use the “Sign Up For E-Notifications” link under the “Stay Connected” navigation bar.

3. City issues fireworks warning

In Florida, the only legal fireworks for use by consumers, who don’t possess a special permit, are the firework types that are known as “sparklers.”

“Sparklers” include sparklers, fountains, snakes and glow worms. Illegal fireworks include Roman candles, bottle rockets and any other fireworks that act as projectiles. If it explodes or is fired in the air it is illegal.

Packages of fireworks sit on a shelf at Big Zack's Fireworks on Clemson Boulevard in 2015.

Why such stringent rules? Statistics show that the illegal use of fireworks commonly causes bodily injuries and fires to structures. Environmentally, they cause brush fires and disruptions to wildlife, such as nesting birds including our nesting Bald Eagles in the Marco Eagle Sanctuary on Tigertail Court.

“The Marco Island Police Department is responsible for enforcement of the fireworks laws,” the warning reads. “Accordingly we will be adding extra patrols throughout the city and neighborhoods during this holiday period.”

For more information on Florida’s firework regulations, call the City of Marco Island Police Department at 239-389-5050.