This is a very appropriate question to address with the 4th of July celebrations scheduled across the country. Last night the sound of fireworks was heard in my neighborhood well after midnight, and it seems to be lasting later and later as each year passes. Perhaps it is just the fact that I am getting older and grumpier.
Each year children and adults are being severely injured as a result of July 4th fireworks accidents. As a matter of fact, in 2009 a staggering total of 9,000 people were injured according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). One out of every three people hurt was a child under the age of 15.
Fireworks are responsible for more than 30,000 fires annually nationwide based upon data from the U.S. Fire Administration. More fires are reported in the USA on Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and fireworks are attributed to be the cause of 50% of those fires. The statistics report that fireworks injuries are predominately to the hands, eyes, and face and more boys than girls are harmed by them.
Certainly the sight of exploding fireworks is enjoyable, and they remind us of those bombs bursting in air as so beautifully stated in our national anthem. Considering all the facts outlined why do we still permit fireworks to be sold legally and illegally across the country? Are the taxes received by the federal, state and local governments so vital to justify the loss of life and limb to our fellow citizens?
It is equally concerning that 9,000 individuals would take the chance of hurting themselves and risking life time injury. It just seems to me that this is a no-brainer. All “amateur” fireworks should be banned and let the professionals handle the many pyrotechnic shows that take place across the country at this time of the year.