Statistics Show Increased Injuries And Property Damage Due To CR Fireworks Use
The Cedar Rapids city council has said that the issue of fireworks is the issue they've received the most public feedback on ever. That should come as no surprise given the reaction on social media leading up to the 4th of July holiday. The city council is now trying to determine what, if any, changes should be made to the cities laws on fireworks. Opponents now have some more statistics to back up their cause.
The Cedar Rapids Fire and Police chief presented statistics to the Public Safety Committee. Among the findings, from June 1st through July 8th fireworks in the city caused three building fires and $175,000 in damages. Seven people suffered injuries from fireworks including one with severe burns. That's three times higher than last year. Police calls due to fireworks doubled, increasing by more than 200 calls. Seven people were cited for illegal use and 17 retailers were charged with illegal sale of fireworks.
Couple those numbers with the negative public outcry and you're almost guaranteed changes in the cities fireworks code for 2018. But here is why it doesn't matter. You can outlaw the use of fireworks in the city, but you'll still be able to LEGALLY purchase them here! While a ban may cut down some on use, it certainly won't eliminate it. My neighborhood had increased fireworks use this year but it certainly wasn't a 'war zone' as many have described. In fact, even when fireworks weren't legal to purchase in Iowa, my neighborhood STILL saw numerous displays set off!
Maybe Iowa should go back to the good old days. The days where you had to smuggle fireworks in from another state, and set them off hoping your neighbors wouldn't turn you in. It almost felt more fun that way. If cities want to lessen the use of fireworks they might want to contact state lawmakers. Because if you can buy them, people will set them off. Restrictions or not.