Fireworks flying off the shelves for the Fourth
The Fourth of July is one of the most explosive days of the year; that's why fireworks are starting to fly off the shelves for people hoping to put on a show of their own.
News 5 found out while some people are cashing in on the sales boom, others could have to pay up if they're not done right.
A trip down the interstate and about $40 later, Josh Lewis is stocked up on explosives for the Fourth. "We're from Bluefield. We came down to get fireworks," Lewis said. "It's the good stuff. It's just a blast!"
That traditional Independence Day celebration has fireworks flying off the shelves at local stores and tents which is good news for businesses that rely on the holiday for their profits.
Rachel Allison, an assistant manager with Wild Wilma's Fireworks, said, "It's a majority, definitely a majority [of our sales]. [The Fourth of July season] is probably 80 to 90 percent."
In fact, we learned the Fireworks Superstore off exit 69 could see over 600 customers a day this season.
"It's mostly the big booms what I really like," said Nathan Rogers as he was buying fireworks of his own.
But not everyone will be shooting off these fireworks legally. The city of Kingsport, along with other towns and cities in our region, strictly prohibit any firework booms or blasts all year round.
And as for sparklers, we learned they're not to be lit either. "They are sold at the fireworks stands and there is [an] open fire ban that was just issued recently by our city fire department, so sparkers would fall under both categories," said Lt. Rick Meredith with the Kingsport Police Department.
We found out that in Kingsport you could pay $50 if you're caught with fireworks. If you start a fire, you could pay a lot more. "If they do ignite a fire and it spreads into city property or to somebody else's property, then they can be sued in the civil court and you will financially have to reimburse either the city for any damaged property or to another individual," Lt. Meredith explained.
You'll also want to look out for yourself. "Definitely read the directions on the packaging. All the packages will have the cautions and warnings so pay attention to that and be really safe," said Allison.
When it's done safely and legally, many will tell you it's a "blast."
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates about 9,600 people were taken to the emergency room for injuries associated with fireworks last year.
To be safe, you should never let young children light fireworks, never pick up or re-light a firework that has not been fully ignited, and always keep water close by.
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