The ban on fireworks that was signed into law last year began on Janurary 2nd
of 2010. It banned the use of fountains, sparklers, and other novelty fireworks on Oahu
, but for a $25 fee consumers would be allowed to purchase a permit allowing each permit holder to purchase 5,000 firecrackers.
Since the ban was enacted in January of last year, law enforcement and fire officials had a little time to wait before they knew how successful the ban would actually be. In a report from KITV
about the initial signing of the law Larry Lomaz, a fireworks vendor, stated that enforcement of the law is key and that a ban on consumer fireworks would only feed into the mouths of the illegal vendors.The Honolulu Fire Department stood behind the ban on fireworks in hopes that it would reduce the amount of calls that they receive for fires, and injuries related to fireworks gone wrong on holidays such as July 4th
and New Year’s.
This year, like many before, at the stroke of midnight the New Year began, and like many before the fireworks were in full effect. The loud reports and colorful splashes of sparks filled the night air, and just like the many years before people called the fire department for help. In Hawaii
the New Year’s celebrations have held a special place in the hearts of local familes, and it’s a celebration that people look forward to every year.
Honolulu Fire Captain Terry Seelig told KITV
that the fire department “didn’t see a significant decline in fireworks related fires or call volume and that’s a little troublesome”.
Some predict that a large majority of the fireworks that were set off this year may have been saved from previous years, before the ban was in effect, and hopefully after this New Year’s Eve consumers will find it increasingly harder to find fireworks that may put themselves and others in danger. A much more realistic view come from opponents such as Larry Lomaz who believes that banning fireworks will only increase demand in the black market.