Your Guide to Fire Safety in the Smoky Mountains
What’s one of the best things about the Fourth of July? Fireworks! But, whether you’re lighting your own fireworks at home or seeing an impressive fireworks display in the Smoky Mountain area, there are some important safety tips you need to keep in mind. To help you enjoy some incredible fireworks while staying safe, we’ve created a guide to fire safety in the Smoky Mountains!
Fireworks Safety Tips
There’s no doubt that fireworks provide a fun evening for everyone, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re using fireworks responsibly! Here are some important fireworks safety tips to follow:
1. Obey local ordinances regulating the sale and use of fireworks. In Sevier County, it’s legal to sell and set off fireworks in the county, but not within Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Sevierville city limits.
2. Pay attention to the weather. Whenever you’re dealing with fire, whether that’s in the form of fireworks or controlled outdoor burning, it’s important to stay updated on weather conditions. Wind and relative humidity are important conditions to consider. Postpone any outdoor burning when winds are high, relative humidities are low, and wind gusts are predicted.
3. Use fireworks in a safe area away from dry fields, forests, and buildings.
4. Always follow directions on the labels of the fireworks.
5. Kids must always have adult supervision.
6. Only light one firework at a time.
7. Handle lighters safely.
8. Only light fireworks outdoors on a smooth, flat surface. Fireworks should be set off away from any dry leaves or flammable materials.
9. Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals.
10. Never try to relight fireworks that didn’t work properly the first time.
11. Keep water and a garden hose nearby. Wet towels come in handy as well to help extinguish small flames.
12. After you’re done celebrating, make sure everything is safe and clean in the area where fireworks were used.
What to Do if There’s a Fire
The National Fire Protection Association has reported that there are more than twice the number of fires on Independence Day than any other day of the year in the United States. Records show that in 2021, 175 total fires in Tennessee were started by fireworks. That’s why it’s important to know what to do if there is a fire. You should always follow the fireworks safety tips listed above to help prevent the fire. In the chance that one does start, here are some things to do:
- Put water on the fire. This is when the bucket of water and/or hose will come in handy. You’ll want to automatically put water on the flames to extinguish them.
- Use a wet towel to extinguish small flames. If the flames are small and controllable, you can use a wet towel to put them out before they spread.
- Soak both used and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
- Don’t leave until the fire is completely out. Use plenty of water — brush and debris piles can appear to be burned out, but one gust of wind can fan embers and cause them to flame.
- If your fire gets out of control, call 911 right away.
Fourth of July Fun
Now that you know more about fire safety in the Smoky Mountains, you’re ready to have a safe and fun Fourth of July! If you’d rather leave the fireworks to the experts, take a look at these fun Fourth of July events in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.