NFPA Journal®, September/October 2006CONTINUALLY AMAZED
In response to Mr. Shannon’s “First Word” column in the July/August 2006 edition, I continue to be amazed at what people focus their efforts on.
Needless to say, I support the prerogative of individuals to use fireworks. My family has done so for years. Yes, we have not always completely followed safe operation instructions. And yes, my best high school friend lost parts of two fingers in a cherry bomb accident when it went off in his hand. However, I feel that the government is too involved in our lives today as it is and the last thing we need is more restriction on personal activities. Further, I don’t remember NFPA taking a poll of membership before establishing this policy statement, I certainly would not have agreed.
In his column, Mr. Shannon states that in 2003, there were five deaths in fires started by fireworks. Further, between 1998 and 2002 eight people per year were killed in fires started by fireworks and six people per year killed directly by fireworks.
This is in a population of close to 300 million people. If you turn over one page, you read that 700 to 900 people per year die due to fires started by cigarettes. Yes, every life is precious and events that can be identified as dangerous should be noted. Yes, NFPA has taken a position that fire-safe cigarettes should be and have been developed. But why not go further and state that cigarettes should be banned since they cause cancer. Or for that matter, cars should be banned since 40,000 plus people a year die in accidents on the road! Consumers obviously are not smart enough to properly operate cars and cigarettes. As to $58 million in property damage, that is a pittance of the total fire damage in the
Certainly Mr. Shannon has a right to his opinion. But individuals in this country also have the right to figure out what they want to do. That is why
Where do we stop in attempting to outlaw “dangerous” activities? How many people a year die in hang-gliding accidents, or bike accidents, or hunting accidents, or off road ATV accidents, or any one of a number of accidents that can happen in our lives?
If Mr. Shannon is going to be consistent with his statement that, “We believe strongly that fireworks are too inherently dangerous to be used by consumers and that retail sales of fireworks should be banned everywhere,” I expect a similar statement to be made about any recreational activity that causes a greater number of deaths a year. It gets ridiculous really fast. The bottom line is, if you don’t want to get hurt doing something, don’t do it or be around those that are. That is why we live in a free country. Thanks for the time to vent.
Raymond F. Parham
LNG’s SAFETY RECORD
I read with great interest the article by P.K. Raj in the May/June 2006issue of the NFPA Journal on liquefied natural gas (LNG). I had at the timejust returned from the Tobago Gas Technology Conference in which LNGfeatured centrally. Two points I made at the conference will I believe addsome interest to P.K. Raj’s article.
One is that the transportation of LNG by sea has an unblemished safetyrecord. Since the very first transportation of LNG by sea (from the
Secondly, the picture of an LNG tanker in
Department of Engineering
I read with great interest the “First Word” on consumer fireworks in theJuly/August 2006 issue. I am the Fire Marshal for the City of South Salt
While I agree wholeheartedly with your column advocating the elimination ofconsumer fireworks while promoting the attendance of professional shows, Imust point out a disturbing trend that is beginning to show its self. Thedifferent government agencies that regulate the pyrotechnics industry haveslowly added more and more restrictive rules and regulations governing thestorage and use of professional fireworks. Within the next 10 years, if thistrend continues the use of professional fireworks will be by and largeregulated out of existence. The exception may be the largest shows that canmanage to comply with the complex set of regulations that are before us. Thesmaller shows that are the favorite of celebrations all over the
It is great to advocate public displays as long as there are displays toattend. When the day comes that local government cannot abide theregulations necessary for public display, the problem of consumer fireworkswill only increase. There seems to be a need for a large portion of thepopulation to experience fireworks whether at a display or by personalinvolvement with consumer grade pyrotechnics.
I am not seeking relief from government rule making nor am I promotingconsumer fireworks. I am mearly pointing out a trend that if left uncheckedwill shape the future of the way we conduct business.
STICKING TO POSITION
I would like to thank Mr. Shannon for sticking to the position about notsupporting consumer fireworks in his “First Word” column in the July/August2006 issue.
I am the Fire Marshal for the City of Monroe, Michigan, and I do not allowthe sale of illegal fireworks in my jurisdiction. Sparklers, smoke bombs,etc. are allowed because they not need a permit for sale. If the devicemakes a loud bang or leaves the ground, it is not allowed. I understand someof the politicians in this state are trying to legalize consumer fireworkswith a permit type requirement. It appears they would like to see anincrease in state revenues rather than the safety of our citizens.
I support your position. Allowing fireworks to be used by consumers is anaccident waiting to happen. The result may be burns and even death. Keep upthe great work.
Recently Underwriters Laboratories issued a press release dated 7/14/06concerning counterfeited Globe Fire Sprinkler Corporation Model GL5651 (5mm1/2” x 1/2” chrome 155ºF pendent sprinkler heads). Although we are gratefulUL decided to alert the industry concerning the counterfeiting, Globe feelsthat additional clarification is needed to avoid confusion concerning thematter.
Globe Fire Sprinkler Corporation has been working closely with UL and theother
If you have any additional questions concerning the UL press release, pleasefeel free to contact Globe Fire Sprinkler Corporation at (989) 846-4583.
Steven R. Worthington
Executive Vice President
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