Sheriff's Office Encourages Safe Fourth of July Celebrations

NEWS RELEASE 19-103 - JUNE 28, 2019
SCSO Fourth of July Safety 2019
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents and visitors to enjoy public fireworks displays this July 4th and is offering safety tips to consider when making celebration plans.
  • Plan ahead where you will watch the fireworks and arrive early.
  • Large crowds mean heavy traffic. Be patient when it comes to parking and keep an eye out for signs indicating where parking is permitted or restricted.
  • Plan your route – know where you are going and where you plan to park ahead of time.
  • Be extra cognizant of bicyclists and pedestrians. Avoid distractions while driving including using electronic devices, applying makeup, eating, etc.
  • Consider transportation alternatives such as SCAT, Uber, Lyft, trolleys, or carpool.
  • Leave valuables at home.
  • Do not buy or bring fireworks that leave the ground or explode – they are not legal for recreational purposes and can be confiscated or result in criminal charges.
  • If you have small children with you, take a cell phone photo that shows what they look like and what they are wearing. This will help law enforcement find them if they become separated from you. (This is also helpful with seniors who may become lost or people with special needs.)
  • Pack your patience and have fun – it’s the Fourth of July!
If you plan to watch fireworks from the water, remember you will be heading in after dark. Be sure to check navigational lights in advance and have flares and an emergency flashlight on board. When you return to shore, go slow, eliminate distractions and use a capable passenger to act as a spotter. However you choose to celebrate Independence Day, stay safe and if you are going to drink, designate a sober driver.