What you need to know about celebrating New Year's safely and legally in South Florida

Posted at 7:19 PM, Dec 29, 2016

Celebrating the New Year in South Florida has meant some near death experiences, people hit by celebratory gunfire and injured by fireworks.

It’s a painful reminder for Vikki Kemp just how far people can take celebrating. She was hit just minutes into 1997 in her back yard by a bullet.

"It hit here and came through to the back of my arm,” she told News Channel 5 in 1997. It came from someone firing off a New Year’s round.

"Never ever shoot a gun up into the air,” Dani Moschella, a spokeswoman for Delray police says. “People get excited, it's celebratory gunfire but remember, what goes up, must come down."


"New Year's is one of two days where you get hammered with business,” says Donny Steinhart, from Donny Aaron's Arsenal of Fireworks in Boca Raton.

That’s where Erica Pena is shopping for her fireworks, "I think it makes it fun for the entire family,” she says.

When buying fireworks, you need to show your ID and sign a waiver saying what you're using it for.

"We just kind of know the things that go along with it,” says Captain Kevin Saxton with Delray Beach Fire-Rescue. Captain Saxton says this time of year, despite warnings, safety for some goes ignored.

"I'm not sure we've had a year where we haven't had some sort of fireworks injury so that's something we're prepared for,” he says.

Some safety tips, make sure there is plenty of space between you and the fireworks, have a bucket of water or hose is nearby and keep them away from children.

Each municipality has their own laws about where and what kind of fireworks can be set off, so make sure you check with them if you're unsure.

A fine for setting off illegal fireworks can be up to $1.000 dollars and a year in jail.

Follow Andrew on Facebookand Twitter.