As I said in my previous post Walmart is selling a variety of TNT brand fireworks, and also has some poppers and smoke balls sorts of things mixed in with the fireworks. All these fireworks, in accordance with the new Rhode Island law, are ground based and do not go up in the air. Rhode Island now joins 18 other states in allowing these so called “sane and safe” consumer fireworks. Rhode Island still remains behind 22+ other states that allow more advanced aerial type fireworks and firecrackers. In Hawaii for example they allow different counties to set regulations.

In Hawaii you can observe a thick haze of smoke across some city areas that just hangs in the air all night (of course this was pre-global warming crisis. We will leave the topic of global warming mythology for another post). Even where for example fireworks are prohibited under housing regulations, such as in military housing areas, you can observe roads completely covered in fire cracker remnants on New Years or the Fourth of July. Despite the media’s concerns and a recent minor incident in a Warwick hotel Rhode Island has not even allowed things such as fire crackers in this new fireworks law, because they explode; and fire crackers only explode paper.

Here is an excerpt from supporting my observations:

“Visitors who spend the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, or Chinese New Year in Hawaii, should prepare themselves for some loud and explosive action. I will never forget the first time I saw (and heard) one of my Hawaii neighbors string 10,000 firecrackers together, hang them over the branch of a tree, and set the whole thing on fire! Or wading through early-morning ankle-deep firecracker papers in the streets of Waikiki on New Year’s Day.”

Now if Hawaii can mange nine consecutive New Years Eves with that kind of fireworks activity resulting in no deaths or major injuries from personal fireworks (according to a Jan 7th 2010 Honolulu Star Bulletin article), then what makes the Rhode Island media think this new law will make Rhode Island so incredibly unsafe. This becomes especially apparent when we consider the station nightclub fire and disaster happened with the full fireworks ban in place.

In interest of full disclosure Hawaii did have a number of minor burns injuries and the Jan 7th Star Bulletin article is calling for a fireworks ban in Hawaii, because of the burden in puts on law enforce.

Nonetheless, I believe Rhode Island in all likelihood will have a long long way to go before in looks anything like Hawaii with the fireworks. Furthermore, additional law enforcement needs means additional jobs, and so long as we direct the increased revenue from fireworks and apply that to additional law enforcement jobs it is a becomes a good economic stimulus for Rhode Island. The key of course will be preventing any major catastrophes with the new laws in place.

After investigating a little today I have found that all the Walmarts in state are now selling fireworks. This includes Cranston, Coventry, Newport, North Kingstown, and both Warwick stores. Also I found that BJ’s is selling them too. Newport being a smaller Walmart store said they are now running low, however the Warwick store on Post road said they have a “whole lot”. The fireworks being sold at the Walmarts are being disturbed by TNT fireworks Alabama. I checked two Walmart stores and both had a Rhode Island law packet listed with their fireworks.

However, I ran into appalling customer service along the way and eventually an all out blockade when trying to find out more about the Rhode Island law packet on display with the fireworks at Walmart. I asked for a copy of the laws and I was flat out denied at first, then after persisting was told by a manger I could find the packet on a Rhode Island government website somewhere, but given no specific details beyond that. Fortunately, I copied down some of the information on the packet; unfortunately the contact information was inaccurate. So upon calling the phone number on the packet reached EMI, which apparently stands for Cleveland Eastern Mixers.

Subsequently, I took to the internet to look up the phone number for TNT Fireworks; who was listed on the packet as the disturber. Upon called TNT fireworks I was transferred a few times; and then encounter appalling customer service with a lady promptly demanding I identify myself and implicitly questioning my motivates. Eventually, she did say they would contact the Walmarts, and then told me to simply call the state fire marshal (which I had already did, but could only reach his secretary who was unable to provide much information; however at that point I was not going to get into it any further over how the company’s products could be accompanied by such inaccurate information).

In the end the only person who was somewhat able to actually answer questions was ironically a guy up in New Hemisphere from a place called Fireworks Over The Border. He said Rhode Island is allowing 500 gram fireworks and but kept emphasizing how it was only ground stuff and implied that ground stuff is inferior. I guess he is afraid that Rhode Islander’s will be disappointed if they buy a large package and find there are no aerial fireworks include, because they do not properly understand the law. New Hampshire (the live free or die state) not surprisingly allows aerial fireworks. Nonetheless, I believe the ground displays are certainly a step forward from the previous all out ban.

Strangely, some folks at the Providence Journal and others in the media seem determined to wreak a good thing by throwing around all kinds of references to things like the Station nightclub fire, and the wild wild West. Understandable, there is a lot of confusion right now about what is allowed and what is not, but the key to that is not more restriction, but rather better dissemination of information.

So in an effort to practice what I preach I have found that the law concerning Rhode Island fireworks is H8173 and is nicknamed the Sparkler bill. The bill is not cluttered up with a lot of specific restrictions, because specifications for consumer fireworks in the United States are already spelled out by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That is where 500 gram limit is coming from.

This fireworks photograph was taken during the South County hot air balloon festival in 2007. I am not quite sure what type of fireworks were used here to generate the tail and the orange and purple streamers, but it certainly makes for a nice effect.

Welcome to!  Fireworks are now legal in Rhode Island!  Feel free to post your thoughts, ideas, and how this may change your 4th of July plans.   Also do you have a fireworks store or stand, if so please contact me to discuss listing options on this website.