Jun 292004
Authors: Susan Vance

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

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