By: Dan Phale*
We are in the advent period when the multitudes of Christians are expected to celebrate the birth of Jesus as the son of God.
A look at the gospel according to Luke 2: 1-20 gives us an outline of Jesus’ birth. In part the reading says an Angel of the Lord appeared to the sherperds who out in the fields with their cattle for grazing. The Angel is reported to have told them that “saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord…” And we are told that the shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God.
In passing of many years people have developed their own customs as to commemorate Jesus’s birth. What is unique is that such customs are weird.
Weird? Yes the custom is weird because the use of fireworks results in repercussions ranging from injuries to deaths. In this regard the misfortune which is thereby caused does not reflect the objective of Jesus’s coming on earth. Why should people witness untimely injuries, loss of property, and/or deaths at the expense of someone’s misunderstanding and/or recklessness?
In the year 2011, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in the United States of America fireworks caused an estimated minimum four deaths and a minimum of 9,600 injuries. Whereas the first incident of fireworks-related death was that a 31-year-old man sustained fatal head and chest trauma; the second was about a 47-year-old who was killed by a firework which exploded in his face; the third one was when a 41-year-old was decapitated by a firework; and the fourth occurred when a 51-year-old man succumbed to fatal head and face injuries.
A fact sheet produced by a certain group of experts in the western community gives out instructions and/or warnings on how fireworks ought to be used, and the following are but some of them:
- Children are not supposed to handle fireworks unless with adult supervision;
- People not to use fireworks under influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Fireworks need sufficient space from trees, carparks, structures, power lines, among others;
- Never use fireworks in windy weather conditions;
- Fireworks users to wear eye safety glasses;
- Excitement, noise and lights can cause fear and stress.
Well, in the light of the foregoing, it is superlative that fireworks be avoided on occasions like Christmas celebration.
True, injuries and/or deaths arising from the use of fireworks on Christmas does not make any sense at all. And as we all know, the noise that accompany the use of fireworks are indeed a cause of alarm and a feeling of discomfort and insecurity in our midst, express or implied.
Scientifically, fireworks are explosives. Don’t attempt to buy or use them. Likewise, if you are responsible parents, restrict your children from using them.