Warning: Fireworks And The 4th of July Sorrow

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Looks spectacular but remember some of the consequences

[The Fourth Of July]

While we are all gearing up for the great celebration of this country’s Independence, at the risk of “raining on your parade”, I feel compelled to remind you about the inherent dangers of the 4th July fireworks use.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, approximately 65% of injuries of all nature and some fatalities occur during that week long celebration.

Injuries such a severe burns, are the most common, but sadly there are losses of fingers, blindness, ear injuries, head traumas, leg injuries, and even fatalities. What must be understood first is that fireworks are illegal, and are not permitted in any urban residential area. Yet, 68% of the men continue to suffer the most assorted fireworks injuries, while Women are victims by 52%, and our children who we are responsible to protect and are younger than 15 years of age fall into the 26 % injured list.

These are very real statistics, just go to any Fire House in the City or just visit the Hospital Emergency Rooms in our City and you will see for yourself the tragic results of the dangerous use of fireworks.

I am very sure that you and family and friends could plan a better way to celebrate the 4th of July. Family picnic get-together, just resting at home, going to Church, maybe seeing a movie at home or a theatre, going to a swimming pool or beach of your choice, but no Fireworks.

Perhaps many of you do not understand nor know that fireworks are actually explosive material that is actually used in construction sites and also utilized in the Military, but even on a smaller size, like fire crackers, they are just as dangerous, and perhaps fatal.

For example, there is an explosive called a “Super-M80” that contains the explosive power of quarter-1/4- stick of regular dynamite, and it is so powerful it actually could blow your hand off. 4 of those Super-M80’s is the equivalent of 1 stick of dynamite.

Is this the way you and your family want to celebrate this 4th of July holiday spending approximately $930 million annually purchasing these deadly dangers instead of taking advantage of all of the store sales of safe items like furniture, automobiles, clothing, food?

We are conditioned every year to patriotically wish Uncle Sam a Happy Independence Birthday but very dangerously. Think of our children who very innocently “playing” with fireworks that you give them could be seriously injured or worse, killed. This could also happen to you.

Do I sound like the “Grinch” who stole the “fun” out of the 4th of July? Yes. I am because I want you to be safe every year that you celebrate the Independence of this Nation. Cities all over the Nation, not just New York City, suffer the same avoidable horrors, not only losing your homes to fireworks fires, but a high percentage of personal injuries.

Here is a breakdown: House Fires---46 %; Eye Injuries---17%; Head, Face, & Ears---20%; and, Legs---11%. Some of these injuries will last the rest of your life.

My Black Star News readers these are not make-belief statistics, they are real. I was a New York City Firefighter, and proudly served for 30 years. This is a great Public Service career being a Firefighter, but among the many heart-breaks in my career was responding to 4th of July fireworks tragedies, especially our children which were indeed too many.

I am primarily a Sports Writer, but I felt sincerely compelled to “speak to you” on this matter that I know only too well from my experiences in the New York City Fire Department.

Happy and Safe 4th of July.

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