By UA Fire Captain Alan Thompson
I look forward to the Fourth of July every year. UA celebrates the day in fine fashion with a first-class parade and a stellar fireworks display, all courtesy of the Upper Arlington Civic Association.
Block parties, pool parties, baseball games and class reunions happen all over the City, in what feels like a weeklong party surrounding the Fourth.
Unfortunately, that same time period is fraught with danger. Annually, 13,000 people are injured, and seven people killed, on average, in fireworks accidents throughout the US. Additionally, thousands of fires are ignited causing millions of dollars of property loss. The vast majority of these incidents occur in the four-week span surrounding the Fourth. Of note, 99% of the injuries and deaths, and most of the fires are the result of consumer grade fireworks—not professional, public firework shows.
Sparklers, available for sale in Ohio, burn at 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt many metals. They account for burn injuries and start many of the fires. The same can be said for firecrackers and bottle rockets. Sadly, these injuries and much of the property loss impact innocent bystanders.
The City recognizes these dangers and enacted laws prohibiting the sale, possession or use of consumer fireworks, including sparklers, bottle rockets, firecrackers and trick noisemakers. It is not the intent of the City to be heavy-handed in enforcement, but the City has and will continue to enforce them, especially when unsafe situations are witnessed by police.
As the Fourth of July approaches please enjoy all that Upper Arlington has to offer, but be wise, and above all, be safe. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.