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Fire chief urges residents to leave fireworks to the professionals

With Independence Day around the corner, there will be neighborhood parades, backyard barbecues and celebrating. However, town officials are reminding residents that shooting fireworks is illegal in Collierville, as well as Shelby County.

Although fireworks can be purchased across the state line, the town’s ordinance bans the use of fireworks. Violators may face fines and be held liable for damages and injuries.

“Fireworks are highly regulated because of the numerous injuries that occur every year,” said Fire Chief Jerry Crawford. “They are simply too dangerous in the hands of amateurs, especially children, and should be left to the professionals.”

If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries to children and adults, Crawford noted.

In the U.S., between June 21 and July 21, more than 7,000 consumers are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to firework related injuries. More than half of these reported injuries involve burns to the hands, head and face. Around 1,000 reported injuries involve sparklers and bottle rockets; fireworks that are incorrectly considered safe for young children.

Sparklers alone can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and cause third degree burns or set clothing on fire.

“The best practice for fireworks is to leave them to the professionals and attend public fireworks displays,” Crawford said.

The town’s 30th annual Independence Day Celebration will be held on July 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. with a fireworks display at 9:45 p.m.

The town’s ordinance regarding fireworks is as follows:

• Unlawful Practices

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to sell or offer for sale any type of fireworks (as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-104-108) or toy cannons within the corporation except sparklers, toy pistols or caps or like fireworks that can be fired or used within a room. It shall be unlawful to fire or light any fireworks upon the streets of the corporation or within the open lots near any business, house or residence within the corporation.

(A) All outside public fireworks displays shall be permitted through the State of Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-104.

(B) All indoor and outdoor fireworks displays shall also obtain a permit from the Collierville Fire Marshal’s office.

• Exceptions

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to be in conflict with the provisions of Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-104-101 et seq. and the provisions regarding fireworks shall be binding on the Town of Collierville.

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