Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fireworks Safety in Iowa

Iowa is sort of a funny state when it comes to fireworks.  They only allow sparklers and snakes.  Now, snakes are completely worthless, but by restricting us to only sparklers, there is a limited market so you can buy 36 sparklers for about $3 every 4th of July.  It is a good thing that the people of Missouri have recognized this and have fireworks warehouses at the border on every highway coming out of Iowa. (I've noticed that Indiana does the same favor for Illinois.)

So, to give you an idea, this is considered safe by the State of Iowa:

That would be a 3 year old holding a sparkler which is burning at 1800 degrees about two feet away from her body. While, on the other hand, the below picture would be unsafe and therefore illegal to do in Iowa:

Those would be 3 fountains shooting the same 1800 degree sparks 5-10 feet in the air.  Notice that there are no children within 2 feet of the sparks (in fact they are at least 10-15 feet away). Now inspite of the illegal nature, on the 4th of July you can hear fireworks going off all over the city and throughout the county.  So if there is going to be no enforcement of the law, why bother with it?

One of the most interesting things about sparklers, is that you can make them into almost any other firework with a little ingenuity.  Bottle rockets, roman candles, fountains, even mortars.  Sure, you may not have all of the fancy colors, but it is all right there for you.  Good thing that Missouri sells sparklers for 50/ $1!

Sparklers by far are probably the most dangerous fireworks when it comes to children and injuries.  My guess is that they account for 90-95% of all injuries related to fireworks.  That doesn't mean that I am for banning them (certainly not anymore than I am for banning marshmallow roasting), but I am for some modicum of common sense in our laws and regulations.

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