Fireworks are not permitted on post per Campbell Regulation 420-24, said Richard Beaty, chief of investigations for the Fort Campbell Installation Provost Marshal Office.
CAM-REG 420-24 specifically forbids all classes of fireworks being used anywhere on the installation, including Family housing areas.
“Just because [fireworks] are authorized off post and they sell them off post at the tents, or supermarkets, doesn’t mean you can legally possess them on the installation,” Beaty said.
In Clarksville and Hopkinsville, fireworks can be shot off during specific periods, but Beaty said police do not want to see them on post and will take action.
“We take them and they can get in trouble with the law and the fire department at Fort Campbell,” Beaty said.
Not only are fireworks a potential fire hazard, they can cause serious injuries.
“There’s an innate hazard associated with fireworks and there’s rules on post we have to follow,” said Anthony Hilderbrand, fire inspector, Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services. “We wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt, so we try to eliminate the hazard as much as possible.”
Fireworks were involved in an estimated 9,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, according to a 2018 Consumer Products Safety Commission report. Of those injuries, 36% involved children younger than 15. Fireworks were involved in five nonoccupational fireworks-related deaths in 2018, according to the report.
Hilderbrand said even fireworks some think are safe for children can be dangerous.
“Just turning your back for a second, something bad could happen so we’re all about minimizing the dangers as much as possible,” he said. “Sparklers are extremely dangerous in the sense that it burns over 1,200 degrees, so even though it looks pretty and cool and is not doing a whole lot, it’s very dangerous, especially when you touch it. It can melt aluminum at that temperature so imagine what it can do to your skin, especially a young child’s.”
Hilderbrand suggests children celebrate the Fourth of July in other ways, like with light sabers and glow sticks.
Fireworks also can damage homes, land and other structures, he said.
Many Soldiers and Families live off post where fireworks are permitted at certain times. Hilderbrand urges people to keep safety in mind if they choose to shoot fireworks.
Fireworks can be exploded, fired, shot or set off inside city limits 6-10 p.m. July 1-15, according to Clarksville City Code. Fireworks can’t be possessed or used by anyone younger than 16 years old unless supervised by an adult.
In Hopkinsville, consumer fireworks can be used 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m. July 1-5 according to a news release. Customers must be at least 18 years old to buy or use fireworks under Kentucky law and stay at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles and other people.
Hilderbrand said to be aware of the weather, have adults handle fireworks and think before setting off fireworks anywhere.
“The biggest thing I can say is use common sense,” he said. “Common sense can go as far as making sure you have plenty of water present, don’t discard any hot or expelled fireworks in trash receptacles, don’t mix alcohol and fireworks.”
Fireworks Safety Tips
The city of Clarksville offers the following fireworks safety tips for those who use fireworks:
•Have a water hose and bucket of water close by.
•Sparklers should be dispensed into the bucket of water, so no one steps on a hot wire or stick.
•Light one firework at a time.
•Never reignite a malfunctioning firework.
• Do not throw fireworks at another person.
•Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.
•Do not shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
•Store fireworks in a cool, dry place out of the sun.
For additional fireworks safety information, visit https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/.