Petition to ban fireworks

My name is Jan ….  and I have lived on So I Street for 10 years. I am here to express my concerns about the excessive use of legal fireworks and increasing use of illegal mortars and powerful mortar rockets that deliver unbearable sound concussions that shake and vibrate right through homes.This was the worst year I have ever witnessed for the discharge of illegal fireworks in my area. Updates at bottom of page – and my own turn at bat.Truncated version of my talk to the Sequim City Council and an update as to WHY banning would be good.

twister roman candle
We have all set off fireworks in our life time are still very pleasant memories… As I grew to adult hood we had many kinds of pets and several dogs but never had to tranquillize them for the 4th or New Years. Now, it is a necessity to tranquilize pets and livestock because the noise levels of fireworks are too high. 

This year was so stressful I needed medical help and learned from the doctor and the pharmacy that a lot of tranquilizers are now being prescribed for people because like animals the sound levels and the durations are too much for the nervous systems of many people.

A public display which is safe and handled by professionals and is less polluting than consumer fireworks is provided here in Port Angeles but sadly it does not satisfy. People attend and return home to shoot off displays that rage for hours. (An example of excess- My next door neighbor discharged so many that the spent casings filled a large wheel barrel two feet above the rim in his front yard and there were still casings on the street yet to be picked up.)

 take cover
 It is a lot to ask of your neighbor who is not discharging who might be elderly, in poor health, a veteran that has live through war to put up with that volume of noise and polluting smoke for hours often while consoling their own frightened pet, because of the toxic smoke and noise, pay a vet bill to sedate their pets and or themselves. Or if they just can’t take it than they can just leave their home, load up and flee to the National forest and camp or pay $350 a night for a pet legal room. Worrying the whole time if their home has been burned down.

I learned the next day that my neighbor and I both had ventured out to spot the location of the discharger for the police. I called 2 times. They were so busy I don’t know if any officer responded. I had to venture out because the toxic smoke was so thick my surveillance cameras were useless. This added yet another security issue for my property. The smoke was like a thick ground fog. This contaminated my yard, vegetable garden, fruits and the water in the bird baths. The next day I cleaned up the spent rockets and firework debris on our property.

1. Not to mention that all the native birds that are federally protected are killed or driven from our neighborhoods—-it takes days for a few to filter back. I ask; why you are allowing all these toxic chemical’s, heavy metals and potassium perchlorate to be spread all over homes? I have enclosed information regarding these chemicals and their dangers in your hand out. I ask you to read this information.
2. This year it cost us nearly $300.00 in the pillows and medical. Our health and that of our birds can never be exposed to this to this amount of concussive hours—I thought we were living on an artillery range. What happened to the civil liberties and protection that our tax dollar pay for?
3. I also want to know why every law and regulation that has been put in place to protect property, life, air, soil and water quality, wildlife, cruelty to animals and livestock and the environment are negated for the use of fireworks and non-dischargers often cannot get response from fire or law enforcement when violations are in progress.
4. The police and sheriff do not have the man power to cover so much territory. This city and County are classed as restricted but the start and stop times are ignored.
5. County and City are left with the bills to cover fires, medical emergencies, extra hours on police and fire, costs like the lake Sutherland fire. I do not know if enough revenue is taken in form the sales of fireworks to cover these expenses. Thank God no firefighter was hurt or killed for someone’s thrill of shooting off rockets. Or that houses were not burned down so private insurance can pay for it.

 6. Fireworks companies make their money and leave until the next year with no responsibility for the fires, insurance needs, pollutions or maimings from their products…this is deplorable. The tent sales won’t be up for New Year so if dischargers did not store their explosives in their garage or home they will head to the reservations and discharge those types of fireworks in town even though they are not supposed to remove them from the reservation.

7. I believe the reservations should take responsibilities and enforce purchasers to use explosive parks on the reservation at the time of purchase. If they want to make money selling it than it should stay on the reservations as it is supposed to not come out into the communities. Some of the injuries are heart breaking —I enclose a press release about a 4 month old baby in you folder. How easy this could happen here. We had some pretty serious injuries here in town this year…just one of these should be enough to make people say it’s time to celebrate in a better way and re-train ourselves to do so.
8. I would propose that each council member forgo their personal 4th of July holiday next year and be a ride along with our officers so you can witness first hand want is happening in our city and what these officers and firemen are up against. Witnessing the mayhem in person it will be much different than reading a report or the newspaper. Many cities and counties in Washington have banned fireworks. Why not here?
9. Clallam County as whole should set an example that there are safe and better alternatives to celebrating holidays than the use of dangerous and toxic fireworks. I would like this this counsel to consider a ban on personal fireworks and maintained our public display. Or make a laser light show! This would free up officers to search out, fine and arrest those who insist on purchasing, and discharge their illegal explosives directly at their neighbors.
10. All such material should be confiscated and destroyed after being used to convict. I would further hope that these people be put into orange jumpsuits and do cleanup work and be responsible for restitution should they injure another party, man or beast.
We on the Olympic Peninsula have been blessed with a pristine and beautiful environment that others do not have the opportunity to live in and it is our responsibility to protect it every day of the year. Thank you!

Jan Butler & Herb Senft — my own presentation of this issue

Please pass this on and check out this site.

Snohomish County also did a great pdf. study on firework pollution. Pg. 15 is very interesting.

Amazing update with cuts to fire service planned which would include fireworks (my response). I hope everyone reads that first link if they are planning to move to this county. You might end up with un-insurable property! These 17 proposed cutbacks and fire station closures will leave much of rural Clallam County in severe danger.

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Petition to ban fireworks — 4 Comments

  1. I hate fireworks! I’m one who has had to leave their home for the past 4 yrs. just to protect my precious pet. My parents had their dog die of a heart attack after 4th of July horrendous fireworks. It’s getting worse each and every year with more and more volatile explosions at all hours. It’s not limited to the 4th, but year ’round in my neighborhood. It’s out of control and needs to be stopped!

    • So sorry for your loss. Thankfully the tide seems to be turning and be it Dr. or Vet bills all too many people suffer from this unnecessary and untimely extravaganza. Even with record heat, stagnate air, smoke from B.C. forest fires these bombs continued to be shot off. There is more sympathy amongst the fire and police chiefs as well. Sadly, there is no money to enforce existing statutes and like in Port Angeles it takes a year for new ordinances to take hold.

  2. I wish Clallam County would ban all personal use of legal and illegal fireworks. Just let the professionals put on the Fire work show or better yet put on a magnificent laser light show, much better for the environment, no garbage or medical accidents… this year is the worst, I lived out west for over 20 years and never has it sounded like a warzone…I had to sedate 2 of my 3 dogs that I’ve never had to sedate before…I even had to sedate myself, it’s very nerve wracking…. please, please do something about personal use of any kind of fireworks in Clallam County.

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