July Fourth Celebrations Spark Safety Concerns
Friday, July 1, 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This weekend, the rumble and boom of celebratory fireworks will be heard across the state as communities celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. But the State Fire Marshal's office is asking Tennesseans to leave it to the experts this holiday.
Kevin Walters, communications director, Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, points out that even the smallest of explosives can cause real damage.
"Those seemingly harmless bottle rockets, and sparklers and firecrackers, can cause real-world damage and real-world consequences that – unfortunately, in some cases – follow people for the rest of their lives," he warns.
According to the State Fire Marshal, from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the Volunteer State responded to 644 fireworks-related fires, that caused $1.6 million in property damage.
If you do choose to set off your own fireworks, Walters advises that you be aware of local laws, make sure you're in an open area and have water on hand.
Sky lanterns, which have grown in popularity in recent years after being featured in the Disney movie Tangled, now are against the law in Tennessee. Users must have a professional license to use them.
Walters says local jurisdictions have laws in place, and enforcement will be stepped up in parts of the state this weekend.
"We're not naive; we know people are going to break the law," he acknowledges. "We want people to understand that they are breaking the law. We do not want them to do that, and we want them to understand the health consequences that go along with shooting off fireworks."
A new law passed last year also prohibits flying a drone above an outdoor, ticketed event with more than 100 people, or in the vicinity of a fireworks display site, without the permission of the event operator.
get more stories like this via email
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who are or have been in the foster-care system now are eligible for one-time payments of at least $750…
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …
HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants to bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public-works program from the 1930s that created …
Health and Wellness
CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …
Health and Wellness
MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…
APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …
ALBANY, N.Y. - A ballot measure could give New York residents the constitutional right to a healthy environment, and on Tuesday a group of state …
SALEM, Ore. - Young people of color are locked up at disproportionately high rates compared with their white peers, despite recent signs the gap is …