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National Fire Protection Association urges not to shoot fireworks off at home

The NFPA is concerned about safety, but there are also several counties in East Tennessee where fireworks are illegal.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — With many Fourth of July celebrations canceled across East Tennessee because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people may be planning to light their own fireworks at home.

However, since public firework displays put on by trained professionals have been canceled, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said it is "vigorously discouraging individuals' use of consumer fireworks," according to a statement by the organization Wednesday.

“Fireworks are simply too dangerous and unpredictable to be used safely by consumers," Lorraine Carli, the vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA, said in the statement. "Even sparklers, which are often considered harmless enough for children, burn as hot as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause third-degree burns."

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The NFPA said people should try to avoid accidents which could put a burden on emergency room staff and first responders.

Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires also caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries and $105 million in direct property damage, according to the NFPA.

There are also some counties in East Tennessee where shooting fireworks is against the law.

Here's where some of the laws stand. For a full list, click here.

Fireworks are illegal:

  • Knox County: All fireworks, both big and small, are illegal.
  • Alcoa and Townsend: It is illegal to light fireworks within city limits at any time. 
  • Anderson County: All fireworks are illegal
  • Town of Cumberland Gap

There are some restrictions:

  • Blount County: Fireworks are legal because of a law change last year, but you can't shoot them off after 11 p.m., but not within the city limits of Alcoa and Townsend.
  • Maryville: Fireworks are allowed up until 11 p.m. around the Fourth of July and the New Year's holidays.
  • Roane County: It's up to city leaders to decide where they can be set off,
  • Sevier County: Fireworks are legal, except for in Sevierville, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. 
  • Campbell County: Legal to sell and set off fireworks in the county but not in the city limits of LaFollette.
  • McMinn County: Fireworks are legal everywhere except in Athens city limits.
  • Monroe County: It is legal to sell fireworks and set off on July 3rd and 4th.

No restrictions:

  • City of Kingston
  • Scott County
  • Morgan County
  • Greene County
  • Cumberland County and City of Crossville
  • Grainger County
  • Loudon County
  • Union County 

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