LENOIR CITY (WATE) – With July Fourth just around the corner, fireworks stands are popping up all over the area. Before they can open, they have to be inspected. The fire departments go through a checklist to make sure you stay safe while shopping.
Families were stocking up for the celebration in the parking lot at Bimbo’s Fireworks in Lenoir City. The purchases kept coming at this popular store but before customers stroll through the aisles, Tony Brock with the Lenoir City Fire Department walked around.
The department inspected the fireworks stands one week before opening. He went through a specific checklist. He made sure no smoking signs were posted. He also made sure the stand had an extinguisher and the tent cover was flame retardant.
Related: East Tennessee firework regulations
“If somebody was burning some debris across the street and landed on this, it could catch it on fire and then trap your patrons inside the tent,” Brock said.
Since opening almost 40 years ago, Bimbo’s Fireworks continues to pass its inspections. Believe it or not, employees still find people smoking nearby.
“It would be a chain reaction and we let people know smoking and fireworks do not go hand in hand,” said Ed Boling, the stand’s owner.
Boling took safety very seriously. It was a quality that encouraged loyal patrons, like Thelma Outlaw, to keep coming back. She’s been shopping here for 10 years.
“Never had an issue with anything going off on me,” Outlaw said.
If you do not want to buy fireworks for your own show at home, you can go to “Rockin’ the Docks” in Lenoir City on July 1. It is taking place at Lenoir City Park. There will be music, food vendors and a fireworks show.
The Lenoir City Fire Department said it doesn’t get many grass fire calls on the holiday and they hoped to keep it that way.
Brock reminded families to keep a safe distance from the fireworks after lighting them. Boling also suggested to keep a hose nearby. He said some of his fireworks reignite so after you light them, he encouraged people to spray it with water.