As fireworks sales boom in the Chattanooga area, here are some safety tips

Staff file photo by C.B. Schmelter / People watch from the Stringer's Ridge Park overlook as fireworks from the 2018 Pops on the River Independence Day celebration light up the sky over the Tennessee River on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. With many public fireworks displays canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are buying fireworks to shoot themselves at home.

With many Chattanooga-area fireworks displays canceled to prevent large crowds from gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic, retail sales of firecrackers are skyrocketing in the Chattanooga area and nationwide as more people move their July Fourth celebrations to the backyard.

Retail sales at Fireworks Supermarkets - a nationwide retailer with five stores in Tennessee, including Cleveland and Jasper locations near Chattanooga - have at least doubled in 2020 compared to previous years, according to company President Mike Ingram.

"The sales and the total number of customers coming into all of our retail stores clear across the country has greatly increased from last year," Ingram said. "Whether everybody has come out early and the customer count will be off on the third and fourth of July is yet to be determined. This is a crazy year, so it's hard to predict anything."