Homeowners’ Associations Restricted From Regulating Fireworks on Fourth of July
By Holly M. Hamilton, Esq. & Destinee A. Campbell
Floridians have long enjoyed using fireworks on the Fourth of July and other major holidays. Since 1955, the sale of fireworks in the state of Florida has operated under the guise of use for “frightening birds from agricultural works and fish hatcheries.” § 791.07, Fla. Stat. (2020). The statute’s definition of a firework is: “combustible or explosive substances…prepared for the propose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation….” § 791.01(4)(a), Fla. Stat. (2020).
On April 8, 2020, Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 140 into law, which allows for the use of fireworks during the following designated holidays: December 31, January 1 and July 4. § 791.08, Fla. Stat. (2020). Prior to this Bill, homeowners’ associations were free to regulate, limit and impose violation fines for homeowners’ use of fireworks every day of the year.
Now that Independence Day is rapidly approaching, homeowners’ associations are reminded that they are no longer legally permitted to regulate homeowners’ use of fireworks on the designated holidays identified by the statute—including Independence Day. Under Section 791.08, homeowners’ associations may not “promulgate rules that attempt to abrogate a homeowner’s right to use fireworks during a designated holiday…” § 791.08, Fla. Stat. (2020).
Although the board of directors of a homeowners’ association may still choose to restrict the use of fireworks 362 days of the year, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Independence Day are off-limits from association regulation.
As a reminder, the sale, exposure for sale, sale at retail, use or explosion of fireworks by any person, firm, or corporation on any other day of the year without a permit is still considered illegal and punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law. § 791.06, Fla. Stat. (2020); § 776.083, Fla. Stat. (2020).
Freedom will ring on the Fourth of July even in homeowners’ associations. Happy Independence Day!
*Holly is an associate in our Fort Lauderdale, FL office. She can be reached at 954-905-3790 or email@example.com. Destinee is a law clerk working in our Fort Lauderdale office who can be reached at 954-905-3793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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