Fireworks trend: Reverse it before there is a tragedy
It feels like the July 4th fireworks display starts about July 1 and doesn’t end til, oh, about today.
We are not referring to the sanctioned municipal events.
We are speaking of the independent displays that seem to sprout up in just about every neighborhood.
And unlike the municipal displays, these fireworks are being set off among trees and structures, with the very real possibility of a spark setting off a blaze.
Our eyes tell us the individual fireworks emissions have gotten more powerful and plentiful in recent years.
It’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt or there is a structure fire or house damage from a burning, falling tree.
In Pennsylvania, the 1939 law was rescinded in 2017 and allows mortars, fireworks that shoot directly into the air and larger, more powerful types of pyrotechnics. The fireworks may legally be set off from two days before July 4th until two days after.
In smaller municipalities, it almost does not matter what the regulations are. The smaller police forces – where there is a local department – and volunteer fire companies are stretched too thin over a summer holiday to fully enforce whatever laws there are.
A look at the hills and mountains surrounding the city on July 4th showed the results, puffs of smoke sprouting like mushrooms and fireworks being shot airborne from dozens of residential locations.
Frankly, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done about this blooming recklessness.
Municipal government officials can start by revisiting the fireworks ordinance and making it more restrictive.
But ultimately, people setting off these more powerful fireworks have to realize there’s nothing cool about it.
They are endangering themselves, their families, their friends, their neighbors and their homes.
All of the bangs and booms also are tough on the psyches of family pets, particularly dogs, and the ears of infants and young children and the elderly, if not the neighbors trying to get a good night’s sleep before an early work shift in the morning.
There’s a tragedy in the making here unless the present fireworks trend is reversed.