The Fourth of July holiday is quickly approaching, and Murfreesboro’s Fire Rescue and Police departments are coordinating safety measures for those in the community who will be celebrating.
MPD will have residential patrols as well as increased traffic enforcement through the holiday. Officers will strictly enforce speeding, seat belt, DUI, and other traffic related laws as well as City fireworks regulations. “We encourage residents to practice safety this Fourth of July, and abide by the City’s fireworks ordinances,” said Police Chief Michal Bowen.
Both MPD and MFRD will be present at the city-sponsored “Celebration Under the Stars” event on July 4 at McKnight Park.
MPD will provide traffic and event control. MFRD’s Special Events Team will be set up for the day’s festivities and will be on standby for medical emergencies as well. MFRD’s national award-winning Honor Guard will present the colors at opening ceremonies, and crews will be posted at the site where the fireworks will launch. MFRD personnel will also be on standby through the show.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING CITY FIREWORKS REGULATIONS
In the city limits of Murfreesboro, it is only permissible to use fireworks on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th between the hours of 10:00 am and 11:00 pm. Seasonal sales of fireworks are only permitted from June 28-July 5 from State-approved retailers. MFRD’s Community Risk Reduction Division has inspected a total of 13 fireworks retail sites this week.
Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Carl Peas would like to remind citizens that it is unlawful for any person to use any item of fireworks on private property without the consent of the property owner. It is also unlawful for any person to use any item of fireworks on public property including public streets, unless it is part of an approved public display.
The City of Murfreesboro prohibits the sell, use, or possession of any mortar firework with a single tube, if that tube has been preloaded with a shell and the tube or shell has a diameter of one and a half inches. Anyone in the city limits is also prohibited from selling, using, or possessing reloadable fireworks and bottle rockets.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year. About one in four of those fires are reported on Independence Day.
MFRD urges citizens to enjoy public displays of fireworks (such as the City’s “Celebration Under the Stars”), rather than risking the use of consumer fireworks. However, citizens who choose to use consumer fireworks are offered the following safety tips:
• Never allow children to handle or ignite fireworks.
• Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
• Wear eye protection.
• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
• Never throw or point fireworks at people or animals.
• Only light fireworks outdoors on a smooth, flat surface away from homes, dry leaves and flammable materials.
• Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.
• Keep a bucket of water and a garden hose nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.
• Sparklers are not toys and cause hundreds of injuries every year. Sparklers burn hot, can reach temperatures as high as 1,200° F, and stay hot long after they’ve burned out. You wouldn’t hand a matchbook or lighter to a child to wave around or play with, so don’t give a child a sparkler.
“To avoid injuries, those using fireworks should be extra cautious and strictly follow the instructions on their fireworks,” said MFRD Assistant Fire Marshal Michael Bartlett, “and always make sure to have adult supervision.” Bartlett gives more safety in a public service announcement at https://youtu.be/jFZy92W0w-M.
For more about the City of Murfreesboro’s rules about fireworks or to access a link to the full text for the city code related to fireworks, please visit http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/FAQ.aspx?QID=192.