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Fire officials: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Matthew Lane • Jun 28, 2017 at 5:45 PM

KINGSPORT — Independence Day is less than a week away, and as our country celebrates its 241st birthday, people across the region will undoubtedly light up the skies with bottle rockets, Roman candles and fireworks mortars.

Really though, you probably shouldn’t.

The Kingsport Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association remind folks about the fire and safety hazards associated with consumer fireworks. And not only that, but fireworks are illegal in Kingsport. You cannot use, possess or sell fireworks within the city limits.

Did you know that two out of five fires reported on the Fourth of July are started by fireworks, more than for any other cause? The good news is you can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks by following a few simple safety tips:

— Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.

— The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

— After the fireworks display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they might still be active.

— Fireworks can cause severe injuries. Sparklers burn at around 1,200 degrees, hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

Fast facts

— Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. On average, these fires cause three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $43 million in direct property damage.

— In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks-related injuries.

— The NFPA and the Kingsport Fire Department are opposed to the consumer use of fireworks. This includes sparklers and firecrackers. 

So enjoy your holiday by attending a show in your city and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

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