In preparation for Forster Friday, I went to bed early on one of my favorite holidays–Independence Day. At 10:15 PM, 3 hours after I’d been asleep I hear fireworks very loud and can SEE blue flashes in the bedroom, which is opposite any window in the apartment. It sounded like the firecracker were SUPER-close. I jumped out of bed and ran out to the living room to investigate. Neighbors were leaning against my car Rusty and setting off their own fireworks on the sidewalk and maybe the middle of the street directly next to my car! Cool said before I woke up they had their three year old holding a roman candle in the vicinity of my car, and the kid kept pointing the explosive TOWARD Rusty! After much coaxing they convinced the kid to point the explosive toward the sky. . .
Never mind fireworks are illegal in much of the state, and in our entire county for the last 28 years, these people were idiots. Next to the sidewalk is a lot of weeds and underbrush, which leads down the treed riverbank and into the river. On the other side of the road, aside from my CAR is rows and rows of apartment buildings, and out back of those is various landscaping: Bushes, trees, and grass. We are talking a lot of tinder, especially given the 90 degree weather of the past week. I guess they not only didn’t care about fire-safety, or have common sense with children, but they must have wanted to pay the $516 fine for getting caught with fireworks in the city.
I stepped out on the balcony and shouted down, “Can you go a little further away from my car?!” And was met with blank stares and no motion. They didn’t feel awkward being caught propped up against my car, or by the fact I had caught them setting off illegal fireworks directly NEXT to my car (the only car parked street-side other than theirs). Slowly, they said, “This car?” And I was like, “Umm, yeah.” And they meandered 2 feet in front of my car and continued on with their private display.
I was tired and really wanted to be functional for horrible Friday, which I anticipated would be very busy due to the work holiday on the 4th, but their noise and colors–and my worry continued on. When their shannegans continued for a half hour, I tried to call the number the newspaper gave to report illegal fireworks. And alas, it wasn’t a good number. Thanks for nothing. Luckily, fireworks are expensive so their private show only lasted 45 min at the most, then they just stood in the street watching the city fireworks display clearly visible from downtown. Jerks.
What is the matter with people??????? So, in the interest of common sense and safety just a smattering of news bites and statistics regarding private citizens with explosives a.k.a. fireworks.
-Emergency crews and police were busy Thursday with continuous fire calls throughout the day, stemming from fireworks celebrations during the Fourth of July (2).
-An estimated 17,800 reported fires were started by fireworks and 9,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2011. On a typical Fourth of July, there are more fires than on any other day of the year, with fireworks accounting for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires (1).
-The report outlines specific statistics regarding the use of consumer fireworks related to fire danger, including:
- In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires.
- These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.
- Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone accounted for 34 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2011.
The report showed that the risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19 and adults 25-44, with one-quarter (26 percent) of the victims of fireworks injuries in 2011 under age 15. Children have the highest relative risk of injury; there are no adult age groups with comparable risk (1).
-in Seattle, someone setting off illegal fireworks inadvertently set a boat storage facility on fire, causing more than $1 million in damage (4).
– It was one year ago that firefighters were called to Autumn Place apartments for a fire that engulfed one of the buildings. Months later Blue Springs firefighters determined fireworks caused that blaze. Now a woman who lost everything is reminding people to be careful this holiday (3).