For many Locals in Hawaii, alike other cultures around the world, New Year’s Eve – similar to Christmas, is very important for spending time with family and friends. In Honolulu the locals do New Year’s differently. Most households are the ‘Pyro-technicians’ of their own firework shows. Throughout the month of December, the Island of O’ahu starts to sound like a target zone with loud blasting firework bombs and whistling rockets. Animals don’t care for the loud booms much but for the local people, it builds excitement and anticipation for what is probably the most exciting night of the year. Not for the ball to drop in New York City, not for any game going on (although sports are a staple here) but for something much more simple; the competition of who has the most, who’s is loudest, and also, the brotherhood and sisterhood of special moments that not only families share but neighbors as well.
Every season, Hawaii residents expect to walk in stores and see their beloved ammunition on shelves, but this year, all consumer fireworks have been banned due to a new law that was put in place earlier this year in January. Shelves may be empty but some parking lots will probably see an increased amount of permit tents. According to Hearst Stations, Inc (2011), this new consumer fireworks law is expected by fire officials to lower the number of fires and could eventually be a stepping stone for an all out ban, which would probably do away with permits for reduced consumer fireworks usage – the last nail in the coffin.
The main objective for the ban is said to attack the illegal sale of aerial fireworks which have been stated to be the leading cause of firework related blazes. This is not the first time law makers have ‘bah humbugged’ fireworks in recent years. According to the Honolulu Advertiser (2000), it was Governor Ben Cayetano who called for a ban on consumer fireworks. There were a handful of injuries and at least one death involved during the prior year that sparked the Governor to act. Obviously, these are statistical reasons. The real motivation was rumored to be because he or one of his own family members suffered from smoke inhalation. Why not a more proactive approach for harmony of the masses?
- Property & Life insurance – $25 for a permit could be better spent going toward protecting your home and/or your family.
- Hose down your roof; close all your windows and hose down the walls of your home. They were both made to also protect against water.
- Do the same for other structures and areas around your property. Put things away that may catch fire.
- Dampen your garage floor and driveway if you plan to be away for New Years or arrange it to be done.
- Communicate with your neighbors – work together to be the eyes and ears for any fires that may break out on each other’s properties.
- For health reasons, stay indoors or travel to elevated parts of the Island where there is less activity and where there is more wind which helps to break up the lingering stalemate of smoke.
It is unfortunate a few people have been hurt, suffered or died as a result of consumer firework use but what about Wars where thousands die every day and what about DUI’s or car wrecks? Will they be making laws about banning wars, alcohol or driving cars? No, because these are very specific ways to generate revenue to help fund other outrageous projects that aren’t necessary. Here’s a tip and it really isn’t a secret. Local people don’t think $25 for a permit which only allows you to buy a measly 5,000 tau of firecrackers is cutting it. It is yet another class act rip off that takes revenue away from local businesses and the local people. More to come on the most anticipated Honolulu night of the year.