“Two men Killed by fireworks” “Hundreds Injured by fireworks”
“Massive fireworks fire guts 5 star hotel” “Year of the Rabbit starts with disaster”
The Chinese New Year got off to a rough start, with the second high rise hotel in recent years being gutted at a cost of millions of dollars, and local residents all across China injuring themselves and bystanders with powerful fireworks, news very contradictory to their beliefs of the fireworks driving away demons and ensuring a healthy and prosperous year!
Reports from just one hospital in Beijing state that in just the first night of Chinese New Year, Two men were killed and at least 223 injured in Beijing amid traditional New Year fireworks frenzy that lasted from Wednesday evening to Thursday noon, In Beijing Tongren Hospital, 78 of the 85 patients injured by fireworks received treatment for eye injuries, and children accounted for one-quarter of the injured. In reality the injured persons likely number in the thousands across the countryside.
In China residents have access to much more powerful fireworks than we do in the USA, where 60g limits per shell and 500g limits per cake minimize stories like the above from happening here, and through efforts from organizations such as the National Council on Fireworks Safety injury numbers in the USA have steadily declined annually for over a decade now. Most serious firework injuries in the USA are caused by illegal fireworks, or homemade explosice devices. Consumer fireworks here simply don’t pack the punch, and stricter testing standards have increased the level of quality packaging forther reducing incidents.
The tides have turned so much in the USA, that the only deaths we were able to find documented in recent times were caused by professional display fireworks where accidents occured and caused severe injury, most commonly to the technicians in close proximity to the fireworks. Stories similar to the above headlines in China are being repeated in other countries, so the USA can hold it’s head high with it’s reputation as one of the safest fireworks using countries in the world. The FACT remains, that more people are injured every year riding bicycles annually in the US than celebrating with fireworks, yet government agencies such as CPSC, the NFPA and DOT continue efforts to further restrict their quality and availability, seemingly targeting the larger cakes, rockets and shells…while emergency room reports show the vast majority of injuries come from the smallest items such as sparklers and firecrackers.