Sharing his sadness and outrage at the recent fourth of July fireworks tragedy that injured 13 people including a 2 year old child, NFPA President Jim Shannon penned an op-ed for the Boston Globe which appeared in its Podium section on July 11. Calling it one of the most poignant cases in memory, Shannon described what happened this year in Pelham, New Hampshire when a family celebration turned into a nightmare. A child holding a sparkler set off boxes of fireworks in the house. Neighbors said it sounded like a bomb had gone off.
Shannon's point was that this case was a painful reminder of the dangers of consumer fireworks and a reminder that despite that fact that the majority of states allow the sale of consumer fireworks, these are inherently dangerous devises. He also applauded Massachusetts for their leadership role in not allowing the sale of consumer fireworks.
Each year NFPA urges the public in the days leading up to the fourth to enjoy the holiday safely by attending professional displays of fireworks. With this tragedy fresh in mind, Shannon concluded, "We will try again next year, right before the Fourth of July, to warn people how dangerous fireworks can be but for now it seems the most persuasive arguments will come not from us before the Fourth of July but from places like Shriner’s Hospital on July 5th."