SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - The New Year usually comes in, and goes out, with a big bang and lots of people are planning on ringing in 2013 with a fireworks show in their backyard. News 5 learned about the booming business and some important safety reminders as we start celebrating.
A colorful cart load of fireworks is how Carla Christian and her family plan on ringing in 2013. She says illuminating the sky on New Year's Eve is a family tradition of sorts, "We just enjoy them [fireworks] always have and the kids love the sparklers, the boom, and the bang."
But she's not alone, it wasn't hard to spot shoppers loading up on anything that sparkles, booms, or pops at Fireworks Supermarket in Blountville. Employees say New Year's Eve is the second busiest holiday. Which means a big boom in business and this year people are spending more and buying for a bigger, brighter show. "People are actually going to bigger stuff now. The last New Year we had smaller sales because I don't think people around here were used to bigger stuff," said employee Jason Sprowles.
News 5 learned the big rush in sales usually comes from people simply passing through the Tri-Cities. "A lot of them are traveling for Christmas, we do get a lot of people after Christmas and Thanksgiving," added Sprowles.
But while it's fun, the night is also booming with the potential for danger. News 5 checked with Bristol Tennessee Fire Department and learned burn injuries are a big problem, especially with children. "What most people don't realize is sparklers burn at about 1200 degrees," said Lieutenant Alan Howard.
But there are ways to avoid harm. "Make sure you have a bucket of water or garden-hose handy. Always adult supervision, and don't be under the influence of alcohol," added Lieutenant Howard.
Here are some more facts if you plan on shooting fireworks: They are legal in Sullivan County from 2pm to midnight on New Year's Eve. In Hawkins County and Rogersville you can shoot fireworks from 10am to 12:30am.
In Washington County, Tennessee, Greene County, Carter County, Unicoi County, and Elizabethton fireworks are allowed any time on New Year's Eve.
But you cannot shoot fireworks in Kingsport, Johnson City, Greeneville, Bristol, Tennessee or Bristol, Virginia City limits.