fireworks

The hot and so far dry summer has caused some Middle Tennessee municipalities to consider canceling fireworks displays.

While a burn ban is in effect for Brentwood, this year’s festivities will go on as planned across Williamson County with added safety precautions.

Brentwood is the only city in Williamson County to enact a burn ban, but they have been activated across the region including in Murfreesboro and La Vergne.

In Mt. Juliet, the dangerously dry conditions have caused the city to consider expanding the burn ban to include both consumer fireworks and firework displays, but in Williamson County, the show will go on. 

While the show will go on, local municipalities will have extra firefighters on hand to respond quickly to potential fires caused by fireworks, and other precautions such as the option of wetting the areas surrounding large fireworks displays are being considered.

Some cities like Brentwood ban consumer fireworks, but fire departments across the country are asking citizens who are shooting off fireworks to not only take safety into consideration while lighting fireworks, but taking extra steps to make sure that they don’t cause any unwanted fires.

According to the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office, in 2021, 175 recorded fires were started by fireworks. Those fires caused $1.23 million in direct property damage. The Fire Marshal's Office added that if consumer fireworks damage property in a municipality that bans fireworks, that damage my not be covered by homeowners or renters insurance policies.

“During the fun and festivities of this year's Fourth of July holiday, I remind Tennesseans to not risk starting a fire or injuring themselves thereby adding to the burdens of our hard-working emergency and medical personnel,” State Fire Marshal Carter Lawrence said in a news release. “Celebrate the holiday safely by thinking of others and not pursuing risky behavior that can lead to an injury or death.”

The state asks citizens to remember the following safety tips:

  • Never allow children to handle or ignite fireworks.

  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.

  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

  • Wear eye protection.

  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

  • Never throw or point fireworks at people or animals.

  • Only light fireworks outdoors on a smooth, flat surface away from homes, dry leaves, and flammable materials.

  • Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.

  • Sparklers are not toys and cause hundreds of injuries every year. Sparklers burn hot, can reach temperatures as high as 1,200° F, and stay hot after they’ve burned out. You would never hand a matchbook or lighter to a child to wave or play with so, don’t give a sparkler to a child.