PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Fireworks are fun but they can be dangerous.

Local fire officials offered tips to stay safe this 4th of July weekend.

Panama City Fire Prevention and Public Safety Division Chief Graham Tolbert said the first steps of firework safety are to wear eye protection like glasses or goggles.

Also, make sure your surrounding area is clear of debris, shrubs, people, and pets.

Chief Tolbert said it’s safest to put long fireworks like roman candles in a bucket of sand– this way it stays straight up.

When lighting fireworks like falcons, which stick closer to the ground, Tolbert said you should light those on a flat surface.

Again, clear from any debris people and pets.

He also said what to do with the fireworks once you’ve used them.

“After you light the fireworks off, you want them to cool down for about 20-30 minutes,” Tolbert said. “And then you want to stick them in a bucket of water and submerge them for about an hour to make sure they’re completely out. You never want to put the fireworks directly into a garbage can or another disposal area because they might light it on fire.”

While it’s legal to light your own fireworks in Florida on the 4th of July, fire officials said safety should always be a priority.

PC Fireworks Plus Owner Richard McGee said they’ve been really busy selling fireworks this year and he can’t wait to see them all light up the sky.

But he agrees you need to be careful while using them– especially kids.

“Don’t let young children do them by themselves,” McGee said. “Even if they’re safe and sane, they can still get hurt.”

An alternate option to lighting your own fireworks is to watch a public firework display.

Destination Panama City will have a firework show over the St Andrews Bay on Monday.

You can watch from the visitor center’s lawn at 9:45 p.m.

If you’d like to practice these safety tips yourself, PC fireworks Plus is open this weekend 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day, including the 4th of July.