As fire departments throughout the state are preparing for a busy Independence Day celebration this week, I was extremely disappointed to find in the Sunday edition of the Deseret News an advertisement for illegal fireworks from a retailer in Evanston, Wyo. These advertised fireworks are illegal to possess or use anywhere in Utah. Bottle rockets are especially troublesome as they are able to be projected in any direction with no control over their destination, sometimes causing damage to roofs and igniting brush fires.
While I recognize that it is the business of a newspaper to sell advertising, I would hope that the Deseret News would recognize the public-safety issues involving these fireworks and at least include a disclaimer in the advertisement informing the reader that illegal fireworks are subject to confiscation and citation when brought into Utah.Our concern over fire safety, especially in the foothills area of our community, is a focus of Provo Fire & Rescue. A door-to-door informational campaign this past weekend resulted in positive coverage from several local television news stations. We appreciate the assistance from these stations in getting the word out concerning fire safety, and we urge the Deseret News and other publications to discontinue carrying advertising for illegal fireworks. We anticipate that you would at least review your advertising policies regarding these dangerous products.
Blair Camp is the chief of Provo Fire & Rescue.