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Fireworks sales heat up

By Michelle Loubon

Fireworks sales for tonight’s end-of-year celebrations have been great, according to director of FireOne Fireworks of Macoya, Rosanna Abraham.

FireOne Fireworks is the sole agent that provides fireworks to wholesalers across Trinidad and Tobago.  

In a telephone interview yesterday, Abraham said: “Sales have been going great. Trinis are very last-minute. Today has been more busy. We had a Boxing Day sale. A lot of people came in. We are proud of providing something that brings families together. We are happy we can bring smiles to people’s faces at this time of the year.” 

Abraham said for New Year’s Eve, everyone comes together and lights fireworks. “We harp on the negative and the crime. I see fireworks as bringing a group of people  together. Every time I see a fireworks, I feel somebody is having a good time. It’s a positive thing amid the darkness we live in. And all the crime and negativity,” she said.  

Imported from China,  the fireworks frenzy caters to everyone’s budget, she added.  

Abraham said: “We have fireworks from 25 cents to $3,000, we could suit anyone’s budget.  We sell sparklers ($1 to $30), fun snaps ($1), confetti ($10 to $30), Roman candles ($10 to $30), rockets (25 cents to $150), multi-cakes ($20 to $2,500), fountains ($5 to $200), reloadable kits ($60 to $3,300) and sky lanterns.”

She, however, stressed that safety was of paramount importance.

“We never sell fireworks to children. Strictly adults. Under the law, it is an explosive. And you want people who are responsible. And the sparklers and fun snaps the children could use it. By law, we log every single purchase. It falls under the same Act as selling firearms. They have to account. We have a computerised system. And we take people’s IDs. 

“Kids are playful. And fireworks are like matches. If you use it irresponsibly, it can be dangerous. If the parents give it to them, that is their responsibility,” she said.

Another important aspect to fireworks is a legal licence.

Abraham added: “A licence of $250 is paid to the courts if you are reselling or a merchant. We must have a licence. We sell to wholesalers. We apply for them. The police have to inspect and ensure there are the proper standards. 

“We ensure they have a valid explosive licence and it is kept in a ‘gunpowder box’.  

Pets and animals were often affected by the noise, therefore, Abraham said it was absolutely necessary to ensure they are kept calm during the one-off festive holidays.  

She said: “Keep the pets inside. It is once a year. Old Year’s into New Year’s. I keep pets. I put on the TV. I put on some soft music. We suggest people keep their dogs locked up.”  

On the flip side, however, Port of Spain vendors reported “slow sales”. 

At Henry Street, Belmont’s Fulani Greigg said: “Sales are slow but it will pick up by today.”

Asked about licences, Greigg added: “They are not giving licences in Port of Spain. People are using it irresponsibly. On Saturday, some fellas threw a scratch bomb in a dustbin. People got frightened. They felt it was a bomb.”

But Maloney customer Crystal Henry, mother of Isaiah, eight, said: “I am spending about $20 on Sparklers and Fun Snaps. My son loves  fireworks.”  

At Frederick Street, vendor Keith Samaroo said: “Sales real bad.”

He was happy for the small purchase from San Juan resident Regina Mohammed and her brood of children and grandchildren. Mohammed said: “Today is my birthday and we went to the zoo. We will have a little fun with the fireworks on Old Year’s Night.”

 

SAFETY TIPS

  

*Set off fireworks at a distance.

*Follow the directions on the package. 

 *Use fireworks on a hard 

surface.  Never on grass. 

*Do not light a bunch of starlight. Light one at a time.

*Never use fireworks as a weapon.

 *Never use fireworks under the influence of alcohol. 

*Have water nearby. 

*After you’ve finished lighting fireworks, douse it to make sure it is safe.

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