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Fireworks Are Permitted In City Limits On July 4; Caution Is Urged For Pets, Veterans

Clarksville city residents are reminded that the discharge of fireworks is permitted inside the city limits on the Fourth of July holiday, but those choosing to celebrate with the explosives are encouraged to remember the possible negative effects on animals and individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Clarksville city ordinance allows for the use or explosion of fireworks from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. on July 4, in addition to limited hours near the New Year’s holiday.

Discharge of fireworks at other times can result in a fine of up to $100.


According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, fireworks can be upsetting for veterans coping with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“It’s upsetting to most veterans with PTSD. It’s something they try to avoid,” said Dr. Jeffrey Fine, director of the PTSD program at VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (VANYHHS). Fine said the reaction “can range from a startle to a full-blown anxiety attack and flashback of combat.”

That’s why, he explained, many veterans keep noise-canceling headphones on hand. Over the years, “some veterans have acclimatized and have learned how to successfully minimize their reaction to fireworks, TV and sudden noises.”

The flashes of light and firecrackers can also sound like mortar attacks to some veterans. Families can help ease the anxiety. If a veteran has a strong negative reaction, he or she can have the support of family and friends by anticipating a possible reaction and preparing for it. For example, if it is discussed, they can plan on where they will stand when they go out, make a point to stay close to exits and come up with a back-up plan if the veteran has a bad reaction.

Pets And Animals

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), fireworks can be frightening and dangerous for animals. Noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away.

The AMVA offers the following tips for helping to ensure the safety of animals during and after the festivities:

–Make sure your pets, cats and dogs alike, have identification tags with up-to-date information. If you have horses, you might consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.

–If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost. If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.

–Take a current photo of all of your cats, dogs and horses, just in case.

–Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Are pasture fences secure enough to keep horses or other livestock confined? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

–Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.

–Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.

–Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.

–Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.

–Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.

–After the celebrations, check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.

–Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.

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