Be safe, use common sense with fireworks this July 4

Published 2:26 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022

It is illegal to shoot fireworks in the city limits of Elizabethton, but that does not keep people from shooting them. However, it is legal to shoot them in the county.
There will be several opportunities to view fireworks this weekend — the Freedom Hall fireworks show in Johnson City July 3, the Fourth of July Parade and Celebration at Veterans Park in Johnson City on July 4, and in Elizabethton, there will be an Independence Day Celebration at the Covered Bridge Park beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday with fireworks that night.
Also, on July 4, there will be fireworks at the River Riders baseball game at Northeast Credit Union Ballpark in Blackbottom.
Fireworks always elicit plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” as we look skyward for the brightly colored and loud displays of our patriotic pride.
While fireworks are as ingrained in our Independence Day celebrations as backyard cookouts and time spent on the lake, they can potentially be a dangerous damper on your joyous festivities. When misused, fireworks can cause serious, gruesome injuries, death and costly fires.
Although fireworks may be legal in the county, they still are dangerous.
As we approach the Independence Day holiday, residents are purchasing and preparing to light up the night sky with their firecrackers, sparklers, rockets and shells.
We join local leaders in urging caution and remind residents of the local ordinance prohibiting fireworks in the city without a permit. We urge our readers to simply be courteous and good neighbors.
Pets, and even livestock, can be frightened by the loud explosives. Even more concerning is the fact that combat veterans have reported being traumatized by loud firework blasts.
We want to share these guidelines from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
– Always read the labels and follow the directions for each specific type of firework.
– Light fireworks outdoors and maintain a safe distance away from other people and fire hazards.
– Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
– Do not give fireworks to small children.
– Avoid using illegal or homemade fireworks.
– Have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby.
– Submerge used and unused fireworks in water prior to discarding.
– If injuries and damages do occur, call 911.
– Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
– Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
– A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
– Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
– Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
– Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
– Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
– Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
We encourage residents to attend the public professional fireworks shows instead of igniting fireworks on private property; it will be much more safe and a more spectacular show.
Let’s all have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. If fireworks are part of your celebratory plans, please use common sense and stay as safe as possible.

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