Fireworks complaints surge in US cities


Complaints about noise from illegal fireworks has skyrocketed in several US cities in recent weeks, according to local authorities. Firework usage typically increases during the build up to Independence Day celebrations on 4 July.

But residents of New York, Oakland and other US cities have shared concerns on social media about an increase in night-time pyrotechnics. It is not immediately clear what is causing the sudden boom in activity.

Consumer firework use regulations vary both between and within states. Illinois, Ohio and Vermont allow sparklers but not fireworks, while Massachusetts bans all consumer fireworks outright, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. In New York State, ground-based or hand-held “sparkling devices” are allowed, while aerial fireworks and firecrackers are prohibited. In New York City, the rules are even more limited: all types of fireworks, including sparklers, are banned. By law, US consumers are not allowed to purchase professional grade fireworks.

Earlier this month, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh held a press conference on the boom in fireworks use, where he noted a 2,300% increase in complaints about fireworks to the city’s police.(BBC)…[+]