Fireworks are a traditional part of our celebration of
Independence Day. For many of us, July 4th just isn’t complete
without sparklers and the chorus of “ooh”s and “aah”s when it
finally gets dark and the big show begins. Firecrackers can be
heard weeks before and after the actual day of celebration. So, you
ask yourself, what types of firecrackers are legal in Fort
Quite simply, NO fireworks are legal within the city limits,
including sparklers. Why do we have such an ordinance? Think about
the simple act of lighting a firecracker. Ask yourself, who does it
affect? Sound from one firecracker can travel quite a distance.
Let’s say, in the city, it can be heard for five blocks. Who in
that five block radius is affected in a positive way? Probably only
the person setting the off the firecracker, and perhaps a few
others that are watching. Who is affected in a negative way? There
are hundreds of people and animals potentially annoyed or even
traumatized by the noise.
Another negative affect of firecrackers, according to the US
Consumer Products Safety Commission, is that 8500 people in the US
are treated each year for fireworks-related injuries. Seven out of
every 100 people injured from fireworks have to be hospitalized.
The estimated annual cost of fireworks-related injuries in the US:
$100 million. Boys aged 10 to 14 are the most common victims with
injuries to hands, fingers, and eyes. Half of these injuries are
burns that scar the face, hand, wrist, and arm. Look at your
children and think about these injuries.
Not only do we need to be concerned about injuries, but also
fire danger. Currently there is a fire ban in unincorporated
Larimer County. That ban includes fireworks, and for obvious
reasons. Fires are started by firecrackers landing in dry bushes or
leaves, dry grasses in open fields, wood piles, etc. Who pays that
price for the “fun” of a few? We all do.
Who is setting off firecrackers? Adults and children do, but it
is primarily the children, and it is the children who are injured
most frequently. When parents educate their children about NOT
shooting off firecrackers, the children learn to respect others,
and also begin to learn how to ignore peer pressure and remove
themselves from an illegal or unsafe environment.
And if all of this isn’t sufficient to convince you, consider
potential penalties for getting caught…a permanent record of
misdemeanor charges, up to 180 days in jail, court costs and a fine
of up to $1000. Reviewing all of the negatives of firecrackers
usage should make it clear that this is a “no-brainer.” The
consequences just aren’t worth a moment of YAHOO!
Susan Vance is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Fort Collins
Police Dept. Reach her at 970-221-6833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.