Safety first


Assuming that I was to buy Christmas lights clearly labeled ‘For outdoor use only’ and instead use them indoors causing a fire, would people start calling for a ban on Christmas lights or would they say I was an idiot not to obey the warning?

In an ‘In Our Opinion’ article (dated Wednesday, Feb. 27) such an absurdity was made. Pyrotechnics, at least in America, are closely monitored by fire prevention officials. In order to be on the open market they have to reach certain guide lines. Just like Christmas lights, there are those made for outdoor use and there are those made for indoor use.

In the case of this year’s fire that killed 235 people in Brazil they opted to buy those made for outdoors use because they were cheaper. Not only that, but they had no working fire alarm or fire extinguisher which are a strict requirement here in American and should always be tested that they work accurately. They also did not have an emergency exit which shows the lack of any common sense. If these safety measures had only been followed it could have saved so many lives that fateful day, even if they did buy the wrong pyrotechnics.

There have, of course, been other fires cause by pyrotechnics, but I would wager to guess that most of these are just as much a result of careless use and the ones that happen when all safety precautions are followed happen about as frequently as fires caused from faulty wiring, cooking accidents or smoking. In short, you just can’t blame pyrotechnics. Pyrotechnics are used in a lot of different types of shows including stunt shows, sporting events, movies, and the list goes on.

To completely ban them would be no different than to ban fireworks which we all enjoy on July Fourth just because untrained people use them. However, I would strongly agree that any type of pyrotechnic, including fireworks, should require a license to even legally buy. If even back woods essentials like fishing and hunting have to be licensed than it should not be too much to ask. If these other countries have any common sense they will adopt our fire prevention codes.

Elbert Householder