Nothing says Fourth of July like a big, bright fireworks display. There are plenty of professional shows happening around town (see our roundup here), but many families also shoot off fireworks at home.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, last year there were an estimated 9,100 injuries involving fireworks treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Of those injuries, 36 percent were from ages 15 and younger. So, be safe when it comes to fireworks and know the rules before you engage in them.
Are Fireworks Legal Near You?
Most counties and cities have their own fireworks regulations:
It is illegal for residents to use fireworks within the county. Properly permitted public displays are the only exception.
• La Vergne: Fireworks can be set off June 21 - July 7. On July 4, fireworks can be shot off until 1 a.m.
• Murfreesboro: Fireworks may only be used within the city on July 3, 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
• Smyrna: Fireworks may only be used within the town limits July 3 and 5 from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. On July 4, fireworks may be discharged from 9 a.m. - 11 p.m.
• Gallatin: Fireworks can be set off until 10 p.m. on July 1 - 3 and until 11 p.m. on July 4.
• Hendersonville: No fireworks can be discharged within the city limits.
• Portland: Fireworks can be discharged June 20 through July 5, but only up to 11 p.m.
• Westmoreland: Fireworks are permissable two weeks prior to July 4 up until 10 p.m. on weekdays; 11 p.m. on weekends; 1 a.m. on July 4.
• Brentwood: Personal fireworks are not allowed in city limits.
• Fairview: Fireworks may be discharged July 3 - 5 from 12 p.m. - 11 p.m.
• Franklin: Personal fireworks are not allowed in city limits.
• Nolensville: Personal fireworks are permitted, but not past 11 p.m.
• Spring Hill: Fireworks may be discharged on July 4 from 12 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Prohibited Fireworks in Most City Limits
- Bottle rocket
- D.O.T. Class C common fireworks
Sparklers burn as hot as a torch and can reach temperatures as high as 1,200° F! The stems stay hot long after, too — don't let kids just toss 'em on the ground. When handing one over to your little one, be safe. Use a disposable plastic cup that you can poke the sparkler's end into before lighting it. Your child's hand fits right inside and holds the handle of it, which protects the little hand from the sparks. Also, keep a bucket of water nearby for kids to put their used sparkler stems in.
Protect Those Little Ears
Fireworks can cause noise-induced hearing loss, too. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says, "Impulse noises greater than 140 dBP will hurt your hearing right away." This includes fireworks from three feet away or firecrackers, which are 150 dBP. These are "painful impulse noises" and are not safe for any period of time.
So, it's important to keep your kids safe should you decide to shoot fireworks off at home. The loud booms of fireworks, especially if you're close to them at home, can be damaging to Baby's ears. It's important that you provide the right protection for him when viewing them from a close range.
Whatever the case may be, safety is of utmost importance when it comes to fireworks. Never let kids light them or carry them around in their pockets. Be responsible and have a safe and fun Fourth of July.