As July 4th approaches, we can feel the excitement growing in the air! Flags, festive decorations, time off from work, and fireworks at home all promise to add to the fun atmosphere that surrounds celebrating our nation. Fireworks are stunning, bright, and dangerous, especially for novices who are not experienced.
Firework Laws in Middle Tennessee
It’s important to know the laws surrounding fireworks in your city or county as they are all a bit different. Some limit the times of year that you are allowed to set off fireworks in the city. For example, if you live in the city limits of Mt. Juliet, it is ok to sell or use fireworks in the city from June 20 - July 5 and December 10 - January 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. All other times of the year, it is unlawful and carries a fine of $188.
In Rutherford County, fireworks may be shot and sold. However, further regulations are in place regarding days of the year and times of day in cities like Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and LaVergne.
- In Murfreesboro:
July 3: 10:00am – 11:00pm
July 4: 10:00am – 11:00pm
July 5: 10:00am – 11:00pm
- In Smyrna:
July 3: 9:00am – 10:00pm
July 4: 9:00am – 11:00pm
July 5: 9:00am – 10:00pm
- In LaVergne:
June 21 through July 7 9:00am – 10:00pm
July 4th – 9:00am – 1:00am
Fireworks may be purchased and set off in Sumner County, but the city of Hendersonville prohibits setting off fireworks within the city limits. Gallatin, however, allows fireworks July 1 - July 3, fireworks may be used from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On July 4, the hours are extended, and fireworks may be shot from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Williamson County residents don’t have any countywide ordinances. Anyone who resides in Williamson County should follow these laws according to the Tennessean:
- Brentwood: Similar to Davidson County, shooting and selling fireworks is prohibited but purchasing and possessing fireworks is allowed. The Brentwood Fire Department will conduct a fireworks patrol during the upcoming summer holiday season. One violation will result in a warning, a second violation will earn a police citation and fine along with an appearance in court.
- Fairview: Class C ("common") fireworks may be used on July 3, 4 and 5 from noon to 11:00 p.m. on private property. Fireworks may not be lit with in 600 feet of "any church, hospital, asylum, public school, or park" or within 200 feet of a gas station. People using fireworks must be at least 16 years old and must ensure that the fireworks are safely ignited and the debris is contained.
- Franklin: The town practices a no-tolerance stance on fireworks in its city limits. The town ordinance states that there shall be no "manufacture, sale, storage, and discharge of fireworks" within the town of Franklin. Any violation of this rule will result in a fine of $126 per offense. Sparklers are also considered to be fireworks. Franklin Fire Department Jamie Melton said, "We encourage people to enjoy professional displays," mentioning the planned show at The Park at Harlinsdale Farms.
As you can see, the laws vary. Check your County’s website for more information. Or, visit the link to the Tennessean’s article for information.
Firework Safety Tips to Protect You and Your Family
Each July 4th thousands of people are injured. In one year alone, almost 13,000 people were admitted to the hospital for injuries related to fireworks. The majority of those who are injured are children and teens according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In addition to injuries, fireworks can devastate homes and property, over $1 million worth since 2013.
Here are a few tips to keep your family and property safe this July 4th:
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
- Don’t allow children to handle or ignite fireworks.
- If teenagers are shooting fireworks, make sure they are supervised by adults.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions on packaging.
- 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, animals, or property.
- Only light fireworks outdoors on a smooth, flat surface away from homes, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
- Never try to relight a “dud” firework. Instead, soak it in a bucket of water.
- Avoid homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.
- Keep a bucket of water and a garden hose nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.
Looking for other ways to keep your kids safe?
For sparklers, follow these safety rules:
- Don’t hold children in your arms while they have sparklers in their hands.
- Never light more than one sparkler at a time.
- Never throw sparklers.
- The wire and stick of the sparkler remain hot long after the flame goes out. Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
- Teach children not to run with sparklers or wave them around.
- Give children plenty of room between themselves and other kids or adults.
We hope your celebrations are delicious, fun, and SAFE. Happy 4th of July!