With a study to show tax revenues in the range of $1 million to $1.5 million the Iowa state lawmakers will likely pass a law legalizing fireworks. Veteran’s groups oppose the bill knowing how exploding fireworks will effect veterans with PTSD. One legislator pointed out fireworks statistics that outline the injuries of severe burns, loss of fingers and loss of eyesight. 

When commerce and democracy meet the results can be messy.

“The new fireworks bill that passed a Senate committee this week would allow for the purchase of fireworks from licensed dealers in the months of January, May, June, July and December -- and only between the hours of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.”

What they are not discussing are the number of house fires caused by fireworks.

"Fireworks also are responsible for thousands of home fires each year. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2011, fireworks caused about 1,200 structure fires."

Emergency room visits should increase accordingly. 2014 CPSC Fireworks Injury Report

“Fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2014 (95 percent confidence interval 7,700–13,300).”

National Safety Council, Best to Leave Fireworks to the Experts

CPSC 2014 Fireworks Annual Report, Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries and Enforcement Activities During 2014

Consumer Product Safety Committee Injury Statistics, CPSC Reports Increase in Fireworks-Related Deaths and Injuries in 2013

How many injuries nationwide can we expect?

“An estimated 7,000 fireworks-related injuries (or 67 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2014) were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during the 1-month special study period between June 20, 2014 and July 20, 2014 (95 percent confidence interval 4,900–9,200).”

Fireworks – NFPA, National Fire Protection Association

Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take the following safety steps:

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees─hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Always have an adult close by to supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).
Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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