PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Floridians are getting ready to ring in the New Year this weekend. Fireworks are a big part of many people’s plans to celebrate.

It’s only legal to use fireworks three days a year in the state – including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“It’s important to use your eye protection, whether it’s a sparkler shooting off or the mortars, use your hand protection too just in case an accident does occur,” Bay County Emergency Services Lieutenant Nicolas Dickinson said. “Fuses are too short, or there’s a small explosion near you. It’s better to protect your hands and your face.”

Lieutenant Dickinson said distance is important as well.

“On top of being the proper distance away from a structure, make sure you’re away from the observers, your family, your friends, the supply of fireworks,” Lieutenant Dickinson said. “Don’t follow the social media trends of shooting fireworks at each other never ends up well.”

Using fireworks can be dangerous, especially when you don’t keep the following things in mind.

“Don’t drink alcohol when using the fireworks, don’t let children play with the fireworks,” Lieutenant Dickinson said. “Use it on a solid surface like concrete, away from structures so away from the brush.”

If an injury or malfunction happens when you are using fireworks – Dickinson said to call 911, isolate the burned area and cool it, then keep it dry.

Dispatchers are trained to provide medical treatment over the phone. Another important thing to keep in mind is what to do with the debris afterward.

“Just because a firework is done or doesn’t go off doesn’t mean that it can’t still be active. Treat every firework like it’s a firearm, just assume it’s loaded, assume it’s ready to go, and just treat it as such,” Lieutenant Dickinson said.

He added it is important to let the items cool off before getting rid of them to prevent a garbage bag or can from catching on fire.

Lieutenant Dickinson said the safest way to watch the sky light up on New Year’s Eve is to attend an event hosted by professionals. which you can do at the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop in Pier Park.

All local emergency dispatchers will have specific information for whichever area you want to know more policies about. Local officials learn about them before using fireworks.