COMMONPLACE FIREWORK MISCONCEPTIONS
Much ado about nothing or grounded in fact? The problem is, there are a huge number of misconceptions about fireworks that the media take full advantage of in pushing the buttons of the general populace to elicit a reaction.
The arguments are based around the same vague and baseless arguments so here we are taking some of these to task:
- FIREWORKS NEED TO BE REGULATED
- PUBLIC USE OF FIREWORKS SHOULD BE BANNED
- BANGERS SHOULD BE BANNED
- ONLY SILENT FIREWORKS SHOULD BE PERMITTED
- FIREWORKS ARE GETTING LOUDER
- A BAN ON FIREWORKS WOULD SOLVE ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
- ONLY ORGANISED DISPLAYS SHOULD BE ALLOWED
- MOST PEOPLE WANT FIREWORKS BANNED
- ALL ANIMALS ARE AFRAID OF FIREWORKS
- FIREWORKS CAUSE POLLUTION
- FIREWORK INJURIES COST THE NHS MILLIONS
- EVEN SUPERMARKETS ARE BANNING FIREWORKS
Let me address these issues just one point at a time:
REGULATION – The UK firework industry is one of the most regulated commodities on the market – they include regulatory notices on the transport, storage, sale of fireworks, age of the user, curfew dates, noise levels, and place of use are closely monitored and strictly adhered to.
PUBLIC USE ONLY – F2 (8 metre safety distance) F3 (25 metre safety distance) These are the types of fireworks used for most ‘locally organised events’ so banning them would affect fundraising efforts across the UK and in fact drive, even more, to buy from disreputable establishments like Mr white van man who is not there when you go back after your event or indeed the pop-up shop man.
BANGERS SHOULD BE BANNED - Hello!! – bangers were banned in the UK 23 years ago so if you hear or see one now, they are illegal imports.
ONLY SILENT FIREWORKS SHOULD BE ALLOWED – There is no such thing as ‘silent’ fireworks. Quieter or low noise fireworks have literally been around for hundreds of years – in fact, since the implementation of the European standards CE marking, we lost some of our old favourites like lancework (happy new year/marry me, etc in fireworks on a frame) some big fountains and some Catherine wheels. All fireworks need some explosive power to launch the effects.
FIREWORKS ARE GETTING LOUDER – All UK fireworks brought into the UK officially via a reputable dealer must have a noise level lower than 120 DB as outlined in UK law.
A BAN ON FIREWORKS WOULD SOLVE ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR – Sadly, where there is a will there is a way and it would result in even more illegal imports – most of the products being brought in have been banned in the UK for many years. Anti-social behaviour cannot be quantified or measured and importantly is one in thousands and needs to be better controlled by local authorities and police.
ORGANISED DISPLAYS ONLY - All fireworks are classed as garden, consumer display, and display fireworks and whilst good in theory, this will still not prevent anti-social behaviour or the reality is that in order to have a full event display, the biggest loudest fireworks are used so it would actually increase the number of professional teams around the country.
MOST PEOPLE WANT FIREWORKS BANNED – There are 66 million people in the UK and the highest signatories are less than 0.5% of the population of UK residents – so not really ‘most people’!
ALL ANIMALS ARE AFRAID OF FIREWORKS – Well then – here’s a beauty – across the country almost all of the major animal parks held firework display events – some of which have been taking place for the last 30 years and more. They all have vets on duty throughout and there has been no evidence of stress or distress apparent. Furthermore, anti firework people claim that wild bird numbers are falling because of fireworks – the RSPB, however, states that the domestic cat, many of which are now feral, kill up to 27 million wild birds per year and some species have been affected by global warming but there is absolutely no evidence in support of it being fireworks-related.
FIREWORKS CAUSE POLLUTION - The firework industry is an ever-evolving beast and advances in the production of more environmentally friendly fireworks are moving forward, particularly in relation to the colours in fireworks which are made by metal salts. I would add that the ‘airbourne particulates’ bandied about by scaremongering media is in reality from the thousands of bonfires lit across the UK for bonfire night.
FIREWORK RELATED INJURIES - The most recent anti-firework lobby cited ‘the massive drain on the NHS with soaring accident rates’. wow … just wow … in 2017, a full inquiry took place in relation to a & e admissions and out of the 300,000 treated during the 4 week period from mid-October to mid-November only 2 (yes, just 2!) were just firework-related with 184 in total most of which were burns from sparklers. No injury is acceptable but when you compare this against dog bite stats from the same period at the same hospital, there were 7500 dog bites recorded it does put a different perspective on the claims regarding wicked fireworks!!!
EVEN SUPERMARKETS ARE BANNING FIREWORKS TO PROTECT PETS AND THE ELDERLY – Back in October, it was announced that Sainsbury's supermarket was not going to be stocking fireworks any longer due to concerns about pets and the elderly which was entirely fabricated by the media. Sainsbury’s did not ‘announce’ anything. the decision was made back in January 2019 not to stock fireworks for commercial reasons calling on the drop in sales of supermarket fireworks consistently over the last few years.
I do believe in the old adage that ‘every story is good until the other half is told’ as you can see from this piece.