How do your neighbors feel about fireworks? Every Independence Day, it seems that neighbors everywhere are breaking out loud, colorful incendiaries to set off in their driveways. With easy access to DIY fireworks, having an evening of explosions at home on the Fourth of July has become an issue that some neighbors love, some hate, and some absolutely dread.
Think of the exhausted new mother who has just been able to get her baby to sleep, or the war soldier with PTSD. Some people with spectrum disorder and ADHD have exceptional hearing. Fireworks noise can cause extreme discomfort. Pets become highly frightened. Any animals that are outside need to be brought in and made to feel safe.
What can be done to make the Fourth a happy time for everyone? If you plan on setting off a lot of fireworks, please be considerate of your neighbors by letting them know about it in advance. This will give them a chance to make other arrangements for those who are sensitive. If you don’t want to go door to door, post a notice sign in the neighborhood or in your yard.
Rather than have competing displays that not everyone can enjoy at once, why not invite the neighbors and pool your resources for an extravaganza at the local clubhouse or some empty land?
It’s not easy to set off fireworks, so putting a team together to coordinate firing would work even better. You need enough land for spectators, launching the fireworks from a safe distance, and a fallout zone for the debris.
Find out in advance if there are any fire department or zoning ordinances that limit the size of the arsenal or the gathering. For example, the Gwinnett County Fire Department recommends that you keep a bucket of water, a working hose and a fire extinguisher close by in case things get out of hand.
Fireworks are regulated by the state, including the noise ordinance. Georgia sets the time of the last boom at midnight on July 3rd and 4th.
Start the party early. Throw in an evening community potluck picnic, or hire a food truck and bring some music. You could turn Independence Day at home into an event that outgoing neighbors will love, while the sensitive ones will have relative peace at home.