Mercer Island Reporter


Letter | Legal or not — all fireworks are dangerous

July 9, 2013 · Updated 3:56 PM

It’s time to ban all fireworks on Mercer Island.

Over the past week, many of us watched as locals purchase “Safe & Sane” fireworks near the post office. These fireworks are supposed to be “safer” and deter Mercer Island residents from purchasing “more dangerous” illegal explosives. However, many of us heard numerous illegal fireworks that were discharged on July Fourth.

The truth of the matter is that accidents do happen. Explosions from even the “safest” fireworks can be dangerous no matter how much oversight we, as parents, provide.

In addition to the safety of our children — our utmost priority — many of us live in densely wooded, steep terrain areas that would be extraordinarily difficult for fire personnel to access in the event of a major fire.

It’s not hard to envision a stray bottle rocket igniting dry leaves or a house’s wooden shakes. Add to that mixture a breeze, narrow side streets, difficult-to-reach locations, and we could get a major, out-of-control conflagration that would overwhelm even the most well trained fire personnel. The recent fires in the forested areas of Colorado and northern Arizona remind us of the devastation possible.

While I enjoy watching fireworks like everyone else, it’s no secret why many neighboring cities (Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Carnation, Federal Way, Kirkland, Medina, Newcastle, Renton, Redmond, Sammamish, Seattle and many others) ban these explosives.

To enjoy fireworks, regulated displays are put on by the cities of Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland and others. On Mercer Island, residents can watch a display at Luther Burbank on the second weekend in July.

The Mercer Island City Council should rethink its position on discharging fireworks.

All fireworks should be banned.

Why wait for injury to our children or a major fire to change our policy?

If you agree, call or email your local City Council member or mayor.

Eric Radman



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