A few days ago, the new year has been welcomed with an immense amount of fireworks that lit up the dark sky for several hours. However, those happy, festive and coloured lights do have a darker side. With the turn of the year, a lot of accidents happened with the rockets and firecrackers. Great damage has been caused by the with gunpowder loaded rockets. Bins and containers were blown up, windows were shattered, cars were damaged or even put on fire and so on! Also, a lot of illegal fireworks have been lit. In this article, we will take a closer look at this social problem.
With the whole of Netherlands, we have spent a whopping 68 million euro on fireworks, according to the newspaper: De metro1. This is a great amount of money to simply light up, shoot away and get to explode. Besides the smoke that comes from all of the explosions that pollutes the air, little particles released during firework displays can enter the soil, water and air and can be disruptive to the environment. Fireworks have been the reason for a rapidly increasing amount accidents such as horrific burns and sometimes even deaths. Emergency services got ninety percent more calls for help than the last year2! A lot of these calls were for complete accidents, but even more were caused by people who don’t care about their or others safety. The aid workers couldn’t hold up with all the fires, wounded people and fights. In many places, their aid was welcomed with people throwing fireworks, bottles and stones at the workers. One police officer was run over by a car but couldn’t be resuscitated because of the aggressive, throwing bystanders.
It is true that fireworks are a great invention. It is great looking at the rockets exploding high in the air and exploding firecrackers are great fun as well. Fireworks are also necessary for both patriotic and religious celebrations, such as Diwali (festival of lights) and Bonfire night. Besides certain event, lighting fireworks on new year’s eve has long been a part of a lot of multiple cultures, including the Dutch culture. It has become a tradition for many to shoot rockets in the air.
However, the advantages of firework do not weigh up in the slightest against the disadvantages. Something must be done to solve this situation. Several municipalities have tried to implement firework-free zones. However, this didn’t work out at all. It caused a lot of confusion for the citizens and it was impossible for the police officers, who already had a lot of work to do, to monitor. Another solution would be to abandon the private use of firework. The compromise means that people can no longer light fireworks themselves, but the municipality would provide a professional firework show. In this manner, less money is spent on fireworks, there is only small to no danger, there is less pollution and damage to the environment and there is still firework for everyone to adore.
To conclude, the tradition of lighting fireworks is a great festive feature of new year’s eve and other events, but it comes with great consequences. Everyone sees that something should be done to solve the problem. However, finding a solution appears to be harder than first thought.
Author: Rick van de Sande