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Highlights & News

August 22, 2014
Scott Darling named FMCSA Acting Administrator, see more

July 30, 2014

Senate confirms new CPSC Chairman & Commissioner, read more.

July 25, 2014
FMCSA Administrator Ferro to step down, more info here.

July 3, 2014
Learn about the science behind fireworks, click here 

July 2, 2014
See how donors are helping to reignite the skies this 4th of July.

July 1, 2014
Spectacular fireworks displays to honor our Nation this July 4th,
read more.
 
June 28, 2014
Remember these important Fireworks Safety Tips this 4th of July.

June 24, 2014
Booms are a Boon for business, discover how fireworks boost sales.

June 23, 2014
APA predicts a banner year for Consumer Fireworks sales, see why


June 19, 2014
The APA urges the public to enjoy a Sparkling Good (and Safe) time this July 4th.  See more.

June 10, 2014
Traveling this 4th of July?  Remember, Fireworks Don't Fly, view FAA message here.

May 8, 2014
APA priorities on HMSP & User Fees advance in the House, APA members click here for more info.


April 29, 2014
DOT Sec. Foxx sends transportation legislation to Congress, see
more.

April 23, 2014 Save
May 21 deadline for CMV drivers, see FMCSA details on new medical certificate requirement.

April 16, 2014 
APA responds to NFPA President anti-fireworks legislation letter, click here.

April 1, 2014 
APA to testify April 2 before Congress on HazMat Reauthorization, learn more.

March 31, 2014 
APA files comments to OSHA's RFI on Process Safety Management, view them here.

March 28, 2014 
Obama to nominate new CPSC Chair, see more.

March 26, 2014 
NFPA withdraws Standards 1124, 1128 & 1129, read more.

March 25, 2014 
Pre-season transport tips, members click here for March Safe-T First.

February 11, 2014 
APA Winter Conference next week, see program of events here.

January 14, 2014 
FMCSA delays CDL medical card requirement, see more.

December 19, 2013 
FMCSA issues guidance on HOS driver rest breaks. APA Members click here for more info.

December 6, 2013 
Robert Adler named acting CPSC Chairman, more here. 

November 20, 2013 
DHS schedules listening sessions on Chemical Facility Safety, see more.

November 11, 2013
Obama Nominates CPSC Commissioner, see more.

November 8, 2013
APA remembers industry icon Bob Souza.

 

Highlights & News

Response to:  NFPA President, Jim Shannon, RE: Fireworks Legislation Doesn’t Work For Massachusetts Letter to Editor of The Patriot Ledger (April 13, 2014)

46 States plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, allow citizens to celebrate their pride and patriotism with some types of federally regulated consumer fireworks. Massachusetts, along with NY, NJ and DE are the only 4 states that still have long-standing prohibitions on all consumer fireworks. Contrary to your opinion, Mr. Shannon, consumer fireworks are safe when used properly. Moreover, with the trend to relax state fireworks laws, consumer fireworks have never been safer. The data speaks for itself: the fireworks-related injury rate is 43% lower than it was in 2000 when the trend in relaxing consumer fireworks laws was first initiated. Additionally, according to data released by the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), which NFPA heavily relies upon, since 2000, fireworks-related fires have declined by more than 50% and are at the lowest number in 3 decades!

Where consumer fireworks are legal, both fires and injuries decrease because individuals can take the time to plan their fireworks activities and practice common sense safety precautions. When citizens use them illegally (and yes, Americans will celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks whether they are legal or not and even cross state borders to purchase them, which is a huge problem in Massachusetts) the injuries and fires tend to increase because people are careless as they are trying to get away with an activity that is prohibited.

As noted above, with the liberalization of consumer fireworks laws across the U.S., the fireworks-related injury rate and the number of fires associated with consumer fireworks has dramatically declined.

The bill pending in MA would only allow hand-held and ground-based sparking devices. A subset of what is currently federally regulated and allowed for the vast majority of Americans to purchase and use in all but 4 states in the U.S.

I say it's time for MA to join the 46 other U.S. states, DC and Puerto Rico, that allow their citizens to celebrate with federally regulated consumer fireworks and for NFPA --a leader in safety & fire prevention --to join in a REAL safety campaign promoting safe and responsible consumer fireworks use. NFPA's long-standing 1910 anti-fireworks message promoting a prohibition on consumer fireworks clearly is not working and simply falls upon deaf ears since the overwhelming number of states have chosen a different path, to allow some types of consumer fireworks sales and use. The consumer fireworks-related injury data along with the fire data, substantiate that legalization is far better than prohibition!

It is interesting to note that Mr. Shannon claims that consumer fireworks are so dangerous on one hand that he, and the NFPA are leading the charge to prohibit them, yet, the NFPA recently decided to de-regulate consumer fireworks retail sales and storage by withdrawing the NFPA standard that provided fire & life safety requirements to protect the public where consumer fireworks are stored and sold. The withdrawal of those essential fire & life safety requirements has left the enforcement community with no guidance but to simply regulate consumer fireworks retail sales facilities as any other store, with no specific requirements to meet at all. As an advocate for consumer fireworks safety, the withdraw of NFPA 1124 makes zero sense. NFPA may not be an advocate for the legalization of fireworks, but I doubt the organization is an advocate for cigarette smoking either, yet the NFPA was a leader in advocating safety to prevent residential fires related to cigarette smoking. Gutting the consumer fireworks retail sales and storage requirements from 1124 was a very unwise decision. Mr. Shannon, you let your personal bias against consumer fireworks, deter NFPA's true safety mission as you have eliminated all requirements governing venues where consumer fireworks are sold. I think the general public will be extremely disappointed to learn that personal bias won out over protecting the public where consumer fireworks are sold. And you left the overtaxed fire officials who heavily rely upon NFPA for guidance, empty handed.

Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director
American Pyrotechnics Association

Click here to view Mr. Shannon's letter to the editor opposing fireworks legislation in Massachusetts.

 
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