New fireworks law goes into effect

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Teenagers wishing to purchase consumer fireworks must be at least 16 years old beginning July 1.

Previously, the law allowed those as young as 10 to purchase fireworks.

Teens who are 16 and 17 years old must additionally provide a state-issued photo ID at the time of purchase. A violation of the law could result in a fine to the retailer of up to $100 for the first offense, $250 for the
second offense, and up to $500 for all subsequent offenses.

The law is intended to reduce the number of injuries to children caused by improper use of fireworks. According to a nationwide study provided by the National Fire Protection Association, children ages 5-9 face the highest risk of injury from fireworks.

In 2004, 55 percent of people injured by fireworks were under the age of 20, with 40 percent of the injuries incurred by those under age 15.

State Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman encourages all Tennesseans to attend professional fireworks displays as an alternative to purchasing their own.

"Regardless of your age, displays performed by trained professionals are regulated more closely and follow national safety standards," Newman said. "By avoiding consumer fireworks the risk of personal injury, including burns and damage to fingers, face, and eyes, is greatlyreduced."

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Fireworks, Fourth of July, General Assembly, Holiday
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