Editorial: A Safe New Year’s Eve

Fireworks are a traditional way to commemorate the New Year. The safest way to do this is to gather in the many public places where these spectacles can be enjoyed.
Editorial: A Safe New Year’s Eve
Manténgase a salvo mientras usted y su familia disfruta de una exhibición de fuegos artificiales.
Foto: Archivo

You can see the fireworks going to one of many places that have it and have a safe New Year’s Eve celebration

Fireworks are a traditional way to commemorate the New Year. However, it is important to make sure that this colorful celebration does not end badly. The safest way to do this is to gather in the many public places where these spectacles can be enjoyed.

This year, we cannot talk about fireworks without mentioning the recent tragedy that took place in the area of Tultepec, in the state of Mexico. Thirty-five people died there and more than 70 were injured in an explosion at the San Pablito market, which was proudly considered to be the safest in Latin America.

Some survivors say that a child playing with fireworks triggered the multiple explosions. Now reports state that accidents were frequent there, that the local authorities were more interested in bragging about the apparent safety than in ensuring it, and that the federal authorities in charge of enforcing safety measures, particularly the army, did not do their job.

We hope that this tragic accident will lead to truly reinforcing firework safety in Mexico, not just to satisfy the politicians’ momentary interests.

Unfortunately, accidents have already been reported throughout Latin America this holiday season, resulting in deaths and several burned victims, many of them children.

Last year, firework accidents in the United States caused 8 deaths and more than 11,000 injured. The worst season for these incidents is usually around Independence Day on the 4th of July.

Still, pyrotechnics are traditionally used in many Latino homes for New Year’s Eve, and that is a problem.

In New York City, it is forbidden to use, sell, buy and transport fireworks for consumer use. In Los Angeles County, only 39 cities allow a certain type of fireworks that does not fly or explode. In the remaining 49 and unincorporated areas, they are banned.

The unfortunate custom to shoot firearms into the air is also forbidden, as bullets descend at a speed high enough to kill someone.

So, please, have a safe New Year’s celebration. Let the experts handle fireworks so that families can enjoy them.