Fireworks: Fundraiser vs. Safety?

Jo Anne Disney, Feature Writer
July 4, 2013 • 313 views

Temple City is one of only a few cities in the surrounding areas that allows the selling and use of fireworks. But maybe it’s time to reconsider this decision.
Besides being a longtime tradition to light fireworks for the 4th of July, the selling of fireworks in Temple City seems to be primarily used by organizations as a fundraising event.  However, considering the continued water shortage, the close proximity of dwellings and the recent Recent fires, shouldn’t the selling of fireworks be banned?
There are alternatives. Why not have firework displays in a safe controlled environment and charge admission?  Any local school with a large field could host a fireworks display conducted by professionals. Temple City High School or Live Oak Park would be great places to host a fireworks display and local organizations could pool their funds and split the profits. There are many safe ways to raise funds for organizations like carnivals, bake sales, dances, BBQ’s and raffles just to name a few. Groups can even attend local TV show tapings and get paid.
Each year local firefighters express their apprehensions over the dangers of fireworks. I found out that July 4th is their busiest day of the year. They too, are concerned about this July 4th especially with the water shortage and the dry conditions that prevail around the cities.
Every year there are substantial amounts of illegal fireworks being used in our city. Not only are they shot into the sky, but the sounds can be deafening. The debris is found every July 5th on rooftops, in streets as well as in both front and back yards. I have lived in Temple City all of my life and see it every year. So to protect our homes, some of my neighbors and I stay at home every July 4th.
So until something changes, please be extra cautious this year with fireworks. Parents supervise the use of fireworks not only to protect your children, but residences as well. Know where your children are and what they are doing! And, remember to be very careful when lighting fireworks in the streets. Vehicles are still in operation on July 4th.
I enjoy fireworks very much, but times have changed. Fewer open spaces and potential fire dangers as well as environmental issues, suggest it’s time we come up with alternative ways to celebrate a safe July 4th. Isn’t it time a little common sense be exercised in our city? Fundraising is great, but shouldn’t safety come first?

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