Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fireworks Facts and Safety

by Lois Jamieson
Have fun on the 4th of July, but remember fireworks can be dangerous.
The history of fireworks goes back thousands of years to China circa 200 B.C. This was long before gunpowder was invented. The first fireworks were made from bamboo rods and were mostly used to frighten away evil spirits. Americans celebrated the very first 4th of July in 1777 with fireworks.
While fireworks are fun, exciting and beautiful to watch they can be dangerous as well. In my day-the 1930s-fireworks could be purchased almost anywhere. There were many injuries back then.  In later years, fireworks became illegal to sell or to buy.  Some states today have legalized them. Think about this-in 1998 fireworks were the cause of 13 fatalities, 8500 injuries, 7000 fires and $40 million in property loss.
 I remember my brothers and I waiting for Dad to come home with the firecrackers. I also remember that he oversaw the lighting of them, although my brothers probably sneaked a few and blew them up. As for me, sparklers were as far as I would go. Now I’m quite content to sit on my patio and enjoy the fireworks display from the nearby resort hotels.
Have a great 4th of July and stay safe!
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