"Fireworks Neighborhood Safety Act of 2008" Bill 17-0325
- Good Morning All:Several of my neighbors and I attended the public hearing on September 24, 2008, to support the passage of Bill 17-0325:"To prohibit the use, sale, storage and display of fireworks in the District of Columbia except in certain instances; to provide for civil penalties for possession or sale of fireworks; to provide for enforcement of this act the Fire Chief and the Chief of Police, and to make conforming amendments."Fire and EMS Chief Rubin offered compelling testimony that all fireworks are dangerous, including providing a video presentation of a little boy that was killed when a typical firework hit the child on the head from forty feet away. Neither the child nor his parents were using fireworks at the time of this horrific accident. A sparkler burns at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and even though they are legal are quite dangerous.Some have stated that the really dangerous fireworks are already illegal, so we should just focus on enforcing those. The problem with this argument is the fact that there is a 14-page list of fireworks that are "legal," presenting an almost impossible task for police and Fire and EMS personnel to enforce. How practical is it for police and fire personnel to report to calls for service with a 14-page list in hand, attempting to ascertain which fireworks are legal? Banning all fireworks except professional displays will help our fire and police personnel enforce the law and protect public safety.Many on this listserv complained about the endless noise, flying incendiary material, resulting litter and acrid smoke fumes from the discharge of fireworks, which clearly undermine public safety. You testified here as we did at the hearing about the fireworks deliberately aimed at your cars, homes, property and your person. July 4th will be upon us again and the nightmare will be palpable once more. Do not wait to complain then; we must act now to encourage Councilmember Mendelson to move Bill 17-0325 out of his committee for a full Council vote.Commissioner Henderson and I are a circulating a petition in our community in support of Bill 17-0325. We believe that fireworks as they are currently used violate public safety, creating an unwelcome intrusion in our communities. If you agree and I know that many of you do, I urge you to contact Councilmember Mendelson at (202) 724-8064 and tell him to move Bill 17-0325 out of his committee for a full Council vote. The record will remain open for two weeks from September 24, 2008. Do not wait; you must act quickly to demand relief. Do you really want to spend another July 4th hearing the discharge of endless fireworks, smelling the fumes, seeing the sparks and flames and cleaning up the litter afterwards?Sincerely,Kathy Henderson
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