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Comsumer Fireworks: Should They Be Illegal?

Justin Edmonds, Getty Images

My personal belief is that consumer fireworks should be illegal everywhere. They are responsible for many fires, accidents, and injuries. Should they be illegal in Idaho?

After living in Nevada for over 20 years, I still find it very shocking to see fireworks stands in every parking lot and on every corner around the 4th of July. In Nevada consumer fireworks are illegal. If you are found in possession of illegal fireworks not only will you have the fireworks confiscated, but you could be cited, arrested, and face criminal charges.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, each 4th of July there are thousands of injuries related to consumer fireworks. People just don’t understand the dangers of fireworks that can include devastating burns, fires, and even death. Those hurt most often? Our children.

Here are some sobering statistics from the NFPA:

  • In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 57% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 37% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

The one thing we have to keep in mind about all of those statistics is that they’re all avoidable. They didn’t have to happen if we didn’t sell fireworks on every street corner.

Let’s take the explosives out of the consumer’s hands and leave it to the professionals.

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