There'll be no shortage of fireworks in Henderson County to celebrate Independence Day this year, but Henderson County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg encourages you to handle them with care.
"I think there'll be more people popping them this year, because of the rain," Renberg said. "But they can still be dangerous."
Although it's legal to shoot fireworks, if it causes a fire, you are responsible for it, Renberg said. You could be liable for any damages and even face charges.
Renberg said many times dry leaves and pine needles can become fuel for a stray firework that lands on the housetop.
"We're going to be out there making sure people are popping them properly." Renberg said.
Proper disposal of the fireworks is important, because smoldering fireworks can kindle a blaze.
The best way to dispose of them is in a bucket of water.
In addition to the possibility of fires, the explosive nature of the fireworks means they can cause injuries if not used with caution. Safety goggles are recommended to protect eyes from errant fireworks. Only light one firework at a time. Move away from the firework once lit. Be sure to never relight a firework that doesn't light.
Nationwide, according to the National Fireworks Association, about 230 people go to emergency rooms every day around the July 4 holiday. Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks. When using them, light fireworks one at a time, and move back quickly.
Fireworks are legal in the unincorporated areas of Henderson County, but they are prohibited in many municipalities, including Athens, where fireworks violations can be punishable by a fine up to $500.
The fire code states that "except when a permit has been obtained, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, use, burn, or explode fireworks of any kind or character whatsoever within the corporate limits of the city."