It’s that time of year again when the firework stands come out and people gather to celebrate the birth of The United States of America. Due to accidents that often occur at during this season, Portland Police and Fire Departments have collaborated in order to emphasize firework safety:
Portland Police and Portland Fire and Rescue have partnered to release a new video that discusses the harmful effects of illegal fireworks. Portland Police will join with Portland Fire personnel in illegal firework enforcement this 4th of July holiday and the days surrounding it. Both agencies want to remind community members to stay safe this coming holiday.
Here is that video:
Though fireworks are beautiful and fun, for the most part, there are many working to stop the production of fireworks due to the dangers they present and the way they are made. Apparently child labor is still used in both India and China for the manufacturing of fireworks. Reportedly at least half of the fireworks made in China do not meet the required safety standards, making them less secure than one would expect, even after cautions. The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is made up of a group of safety and health organizations which urge the public to leave the firework business to the professionals.
The result of each and every firework season does not go without devastating burns, unexpected fires, other injuries and even death. Though fear should not be the basis for this movement to stop the public use of fireworks, an increase in awareness is an important step in assisting people in making more conscious decisions for themselves and their families.
Animals are greatly affected by the use of fireworks and often ended up injured as well. Unfortunate stories of the disorientation of birds in flight, ending in the meeting of their little bodies with the side of a building is not uncommon. Dogs and cats as well as cattle, horses and other farm animals often react violently or accidentally get themselves into trouble due to the unwelcome sounds and vibrations presented by fireworks.
Fireworks are one major cause of air pollution, as can be noticed late in the evening after the procession of firework displays end. Something to be considered in this time of Earth awareness and global warming issues.
This fourth of July, no matter if you live in Portland, Oregon or elsewhere around the country, let it be emphasized for all to join efforts with local police and fire departments to keep firework usage safe. Gather your loved ones around under cozy blankets, and if you feel so called to participate in fireworks, find your local show put on by seasoned professionals. On the other end of the spectrum, perhaps this year is a great time to start a new tradition and celebrate the birth of something lasting beyond the guise of ‘national freedom’ – for we are all free spirits at heart. Let it be a season of birthing new sovereignty within – with or without a big show.
Written by: Stasia Bliss
Sources: Voice for the Voiceless; NFPA.org