American Pyrotechnics

Safety & Education Foundation



        Smoke Signals 

          Fireworks Safety & Education News

    October 2021

Ron Zoldan, President
Lauren Collar, Vice President
Herb Chan, Secretary

Kurt Cowgill, Treasurer

Please take a few minutes to read this update on the recent and upcoming efforts of the APA's Safety & Education Foundation, activities made possible through the generous donations of our supporters

  Thank You Phantom Fireworks!

We wish to publicly acknowledge and thank Phantom Fireworks Showrooms for their generous donation of $25,000 to support the Foundation's programs. This donation was made possible through proceeds realized from Phantom's Round Up for Safety campaign.

The Foundation Board spent considerable time at its last meeting discussing the merits of developing a point-of-sale app that would permit consumer fireworks companies to easily ask customers to "round up" to promote fireworks safety. 

Foundation Partners with Burn Prevention Network

This past July 4th season, APA's Safety & Education Foundation partnered with the Burn Prevention Network to launch a consumer fireworks safety campaign in the state of Pennsylvania. The Celebrate Safely PA! collaboration also included PA State Senator Pat Browne and Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego. The campaign's goal was to raise awareness about fireworks safety and ultimately reduce the number of fireworks-related injuries in the state. Point-of-sale safety flyers were developed and a robust media campaign was orchestrated.  

The safety initiative was launched on June 15, 2021 with the inaugural press conference held on June 18. Foundation Executive Director Julie Heckman served as media spokesperson. To get the safety message out to the public at-large, a comprehensive social media campaign was developed to market it via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Five "safety" press conferences were held around the state and there was targeted distribution of television and radio PSAs. 

The Celebrate Safely PA campaign was incredibly bolstered by the distribution of more than 200,000 point-of-sale safety flyers at Phantom, Sky King and TNT Fireworks retail locations in Pennsylvania. The impact of campaign extends beyond the 4th of July time frame and is intended to recirculate during relevant times of the year: Labor Day, New Year’s Eve, etc.

Looking ahead to 2022, the campaign hopes to:

• Broaden distribution of Foundation resources by cultivating relationships with educational and safety organizations, as well as exhibiting at conferences and publicizing via trade publications.

• Seek recognition and support from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other federal, state, and local agencies.

We are very grateful for the time and support provided by Ron Zoldan & Jessica Dragiou, Phantom Fireworks, Jason Trout, TNT Fireworks, and Herb Chan, United Pyrotechnics. This project will ultimately serve as an important example of how public/private partnerships can be used to help further mutual safety goals.

CO State Fire Prevention Partners to Promote Fireworks Safety    

Officials from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control attended the APA Convention in San Antonio and gave a presentation on how they were able to partner with the industry in getting the message of safe use of fireworks to the public. They created several social media posts, Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and also had opportunities for live broadcast interviews. Several Colorado public servants including State Senator Tammy Storey and Governor Jared Polis jumped on the bandwagon and recorded PSA’s with the fire marshal’s office using the Foundation’s material. The main message was to “use fireworks safely” rather than don’t use fireworks. The CO Fire Marshal’s office made the distinction that teaching the safe use of legal fireworks was much more productive and positive than a negative campaign asking the public to refrain from use 

You may click here to view one of the PSA's created by the Governor, Links to additional safety messages can be found lower down that page. 

 Foundation Directors & Officers Re-Appointed 

The APA Board of Directors recently approved the re-appointment of the current Foundation Directors and Executive Officers to another one-year term. We are pleased that Ron Zoldan, Phantom Fireworks, will continue as President, with Lauren Collar, Winco Fireworks, as Vice President. Herb Chan, United Pyrotechnics, Secretary and Kurt Cowgill, North Central Industries, as Foundation Treasurer. 

The APA Board also approved the appointment of AJ Burns, North Central Industries, to the Foundation Board of Directors. 

Foundation Needs Your Support
As the fireworks' industry's only organization dedicated solely to educating youth and the public about fireworks and their safe use, the APA's educational non-profit has been successful in establishing a sound foundation for future activities. 

The Foundation has acted prudently during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce expenses where it can. However, despite the organization's lean administrative expenses, there are certain ongoing costs such as website hosting, accounting, state charity registrations, and more, that can't be eliminated.

Even with COVID-19 challenges, this year was a record breaking one for sales of consumer fireworks. With increased use of backyard fireworks, it is imperative that the industry continue its strong message of safe & responsible use. Please consider making a contribution to the Foundation before the end of 2021 -- donations are tax deductible. You can access an on-line form or download the attached form and return it to [email protected].

Donating to the Foundation is a way to demonstrate your company's dedication to safety and, at the same time, broaden the general public's appreciation and understanding of fireworks. 

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