Letter to the Editor

Laser not fireworks

To the editor:

The barrage of fireworks that comes with both the Bridge Blast and July 4th celebrations in Bremerton heralds the need for the city to stop hosting firework displays, increase firework restrictions, and offer safe alternatives such as laser light shows.

The most-recent Fireworks Annual Report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission included that fireworks were involved in about 11,500 injuries that were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2021. The National Fire Protection Association has found that pyrotechnics start an average of almost 20,000 fires each year, causing more than $100 million in property damage, which insurance often won’t cover.

Fireworks also pose threats to wildlife. Fireworks frequently contaminate surfaces and groundwater with perchlorate, a carcinogen common in explosives. Additionally, animals may eat or be injured by unexploded shells, pieces of plastic and other debris. Startled animals run into roads, and birds flee their nests, run into buildings and have heart attacks.

Additionally, many dogs and cats die, are injured or lost. They jump fences, tear through screen doors, and leap through windows.

Bremerton can instead host laser light shows, which are much safer. They’re also more economical, as the city could use the same lights year after year to create different displays. There are lots of options for safe celebrations at home, too, such as confetti poppers and glow-in-the-dark bubbles.

Let’s celebrate and keep our community safe.

Amanda Schemkes