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deni's avatar

Fireworks: Why?

Asked by deni (22831points) 1 month ago

Why? Why? But….why?!

Especially fireworks being used by random people. In their back yards. Every night. Everywhere.

Is this happening where you are? It is driving me insane. What is the appeal? Just….WHY????

Loud. Pointless. Scares dogs. Fire hazard. Intrudes on your neighbors peaceful evenings. Dangerous

Can anyone explain why people love fireworks? Americans specifically.

I feel like I am losing my mind.

(I know there are some theories around all these fireworks lately….feel free to discuss that too if desired)

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45 Answers

dxs's avatar

I hear them go off very often in my city. I was sitting out on a park bench last night around 10:30pm; all was quiet and calm. Then someone lit some off about 50 feet away from me. I only noticed them by hearing the loud pop they make, so it scared the &#%$ out of me.

deni's avatar

@dxs Yes, same here, every night, around 9–1030 is the range I’d say. Normally I can tell they are going off in my neighborhood, but tonight they went off every couple minutes for about a half hour. Just a few minutes ago two went off and was so loud I jumped! Lol, and couldn’t have been more than 2 houses away. What the hell? I don’t trust these bozos, and I’m tryin to go to sleep. Man I hate it.

What kind of people are buying these large fireworks and setting them off? For real curious.

Demosthenes's avatar

It’s interesting that no one seems to know what’s going. I will say that around here, they are mostly coming from a few lower-income neighborhoods.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

When I was a kid it was like a bunch of science experiments to me

YARNLADY's avatar

It gives people a feeling of power.

anniereborn's avatar

Because they are obnoxious. (Both the fireworks and the people).

canidmajor's avatar

Collecchio, Italy, switched to silent fireworks about 5 years ago out of consideration for pets and people.

Unfortunately, the noise aspect seems to be important to many, which is especially unpleasant this year, as not just pets and vets are affected, but so many more people are sick and suffering, and really need their rest to recover. In my town’s Facebook pages, there is a lot of anger at the noise complaints and references to wussies and pussies and sissies.
It seems that the louder the bang, the larger the penis is the perceived logic here.

janbb's avatar

They made them legal NJ last year for some reason and now they sell them everywhere. Illegal ones were always set off for a few days around the Fourth but it’s being going on for weeks.

I have heard that it is part of a protest against Breonna Taylor’s murder but I don’t credit that for the pervasiveness.

Lots of complaints around here mainly against them.

chyna's avatar

@Demosthenes I kind of agree with your statement that it’s lower income people letting them off, but I don’t understand it. Fireworks are very expensive and I wouldn’t waste my money on something that will burn up my money in a matter of seconds.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Why? They’re awesome, that’s why. My neighborhood usually puts on one hell of a show and this year with the public shows cancelled I imagine it’s going to be quite a spectacle.

As for the fireworks going off on random nights I’m not seeing that here. Someone set off a few last night around dusk but that’s it. Typical for a few nights before the 4th.

anniereborn's avatar

I think it’s something like THIS

gondwanalon's avatar

It’s something to do to escape reality for a while.

janbb's avatar

A lot of what’s being set off around here is just fire crackers, not fireworks. So it is just loud noise, no beauty.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I do like a fireworks show put on by the cities but not the backyard BS.
@YARNLADY is right as to why people might do that.

Demosthenes's avatar

@chyna What was discussed on the local news here is that because there have been so many canceled events that would’ve used fireworks, vendors have extra inventory and are lowering prices significantly to get rid of them. Every Fourth of July (and New Year’s), fireworks are set off illegally here (again, often in lower-income areas like East Palo Alto, where a bulk of the fireworks complaints are coming from this time too), but they tend to be the cheaper, less-impressive kind. This year we’ve been seeing the more sophisticated fireworks you would normally see at a fireworks show, for example. The fireworks also started around the same time as the George Floyd protests, although I don’t know if it’s been “proven” that there’s a causation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Doesn’t bother me.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III You’re way out in the country. Are you hearing any fireworks or fire crackers going off nightly? How about your dog? I know many pet owners whose dogs are traumatized by the noise.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t live way out in the country. I live in a small town of about 14,000. Yes, I hear fireworks nightly.
Cato seems to be doing OK. Dakota, on the other hand, hated fireworks.

JLeslie's avatar

I was completely oblivious to this until someone wrote a Q about it a couple of weeks ago, Where I live they are “not allowed.” That’s in quotes, because I don’t know if there is an actual ordinance or law, but even when we have tried to ask our community to put on a fireworks show for July 4 in past years (we have lakes and fire departments here, and they could safely be done by the community developer) they have chosen not to do it. The predominating argument against it has been we have one of the highest per capita of veterans here. I guess maybe that is partly why we are not seeing the random fireworks here that have been happening around the country.

I’m against fireworks being set off by people to begin with, I think it should only be done by cities.

I love fireworks, and the noise doesn’t bother me if it is just for a few minutes, or random ones going off here and there, and I love to see them, but I HATE the risk associated with them. People have already been hurt, a large fire was started in one state, it’s so dangerous.

I thought it was being done by people against BLM, but now I am not sure. It might be people on both sides doing it for different reasons.

zenvelo's avatar

A better question: Fireworks, why not?

Fireworks are fun! And, they are patriotic! As John Adams said, “ it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^ What he said.

canidmajor's avatar

I think, then, that the question needs to be divided, as @janbb pointed out, the visual displays versus the noisemakers. I would happily have the major pyrotechnic shows, even with the attendant bangs, put on by the professionals, by the cities, on specific dates. They are exciting and beautiful.

I hate the the bangers, noise for its own sake, that people do, around here, from Memorial Day straight through Labor Day, every night.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Tradition. Since the day of my birth I have never lived in a place where firecrackers or other personal explosives are legal. Yet, there is no city I can name in which the nightly cacophony does not build in intensity from June onwards. By mid June the sounds of rolling artillery fire dominate the daylight hours as well with July ushering in round the clock intense cannonades intermingled with the agonizing howls from cowering dogs somehow unable to adapt their tortured ears. If blowing shit up is a crime, then the explosive fever distinguishing the roll up to the 4th far exceeds the jaywalking rate, public urination, loitering, littering, public inebriation, you name it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Fireworks are very popular here. We are spread out, with lots of room, the ground isn’t dry. And we have an unofficial cut off at around 10:15 or so. You will not hear anything going off after 11. We all know everyone else on the road. We’re neighbors and we are considerate of each other.
We also live next to a wildlife amangement area so it is not unusual to hear gun shots at different times.

As a kid we used to use them to blow up our plastic models and other things. there was always an experiment to do. Fun.

Fireworks have changed over the past 10–15 years. Mortar rounds used to be round balls with a lift charge attached. They were limited to 2” in diameter. (varied by state). About 15 years ago some genius figured out that a cylindrical firework 2” in diameter satisfied the 2# specification but could be made 2, 3, 4” long and pack 4 – 8 times the powder mass. The designs could be made more sophisticated. Smiley faces, saturn rings, ... they could have a nice pattern, AND have a loud report. BANG! Also FEA Finite Element Analysis software could be used to optimize casing strength to maximize the effects. It was a brilliant idea.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was a kid we experimented blowing all kinds of things up with our little Black Cats. It was fun!

chyna's avatar

@zenvelo It’s all fun and games until someone gets their eye put out.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

45 years ago my BIL and I set off a 30 minute show on a lake in Vermont. We rowed out to 16 foot by 16 foot floating swim platform. Only took the rounds we were shooting one at a time left boat up wind tied to platform. used “punk” to light the fuse. We had a visit from the restaurant across the lake they put on a shorter show the next morning. They wanted us to do the Fireworks the next yeat. My BIL had driven back from a visit in Florida and stopped in South Carolina where he bought the rockets, Chrysanthemums like this, and roman candles.

canidmajor's avatar

@Tropical_Willie, if it was Lake Champlain, I was probably there! :-)

deni's avatar

@zenvelo Why not? I mean, for a myriad of reasons….selling large fireworks to the general public seems irresponsible to me, for safety reasons…their own safety and the safety of others in the vicinity.

FIRES, also a huge one. I live in the west….it’s always dry here. Everywhere. Campfires are banned, backyard fires are banned, wildfires are a massive issue seasonally, especially RIGHT NOW, oh but sure, go ahead with your “patriotic” drinking and shooting off of fireworks, disrupting all your neighbors sleep patterns, terrorizing all the dogs. Also, it just seems kind of funny to use the reasoning that something is “patriotic” right now to justify doing it.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@canidmajor It was Lake Dunmore is a freshwater lake in Addison County, Vermont.

canidmajor's avatar

Ah, my frivolous water pursuits in those days were in Lake Champlain. UVM, ‘75! :-)

Brian1946's avatar


I went skinny dipping in Halifax Gorge, VT in June, ‘75.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I wanna find a lake that.hosts pro fireworks so we, and the grandkids, can float around on the pontoon and idly watch fireworks.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Fireworks were banned in Our National Park a couple of years ago due to the costs to put on the display plus the Environmentalists stated that it pollutes the air for animals that live here.

Instead light works were suggested , but that cost was too high as well, so nothing this year as well.

Once in a blue moon some backyard is heard one or two fireworks going off but that is all, as its outlawed and if caught they will be charged.

One thing for sure is the silence and the fresh air and no sleepless nights, except from drunk party goers at 2 AM etc

jca2's avatar

I live in a former summer community in NY and fireworks are a big thing here. One of the neighbors puts on a show every year which is so spectacular, we all speculate as to how much he spends because it rivals a lot of professional municipal shows. He lives about two houses away, across the street, so I have a great view. He doesn’t do it past around 11:30 pm so it’s not awful.

Last year it occurred to me that I should have a party on July 4th, to take advantage of seeing this guy’s incredible fireworks. This year with the Covid, I’m not doing a party but all my neighbors are, as usual. Maybe next year.

In my neighborhood, we don’t hear a lot of the noisy fireworks, except maybe the day or two before Independence Day. Even then, not many. Tonight, it will be like a war zone for the few hours after dark.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Cato finds them interesting. I have only had 1 dog who they bothered and that was Dakota…and she had a crappy childhood.

raum's avatar

Sounded like a fucking war zone this year. Only began to die down around 2:15am. The current AQI is worse than during the fires.

Brian1946's avatar


I’m sorry it lasted so long there. The pyromaniacal sociopathy ended around midnight down here.

Since no fireworks of any kind were allowed here, a mob of explosiphiles were using a park near my house as their staging area.

After I filed about 5 online complaints, someone at NextDoor said he didn’t see any patrol cars in the area, so he suggested we text 911.

I called 911, and the dispatcher was surprisingly cooperative. He said the fire dept was already at the park responding to a fire, and that the police were en route.

janbb's avatar

It’s a war zone here tonight again – on the 5th. And someone on NextDoor said they had to put their dog down because it had such a bad reaction that its organs were shut down. It is beyond upsetting.

Demosthenes's avatar

We had the “war zone” experience here last night. 4–5 hours of non-stop explosions, from about 8 P.M. to 1 A.M. I’ve never heard anything like it. 2020 is a unique year in many ways. Hope it won’t happen again tonight.

deni's avatar

@zenvelo I guess to me fireworks are pretty in the same way a skyline can be beautiful. If you appreciate manmade things and find them to be “beautiful” then yes, fireworks fall into that category. The video you posted is fun to look at, but for me, personally that is where it ends.

Beauty to me is nature, solitude, quiet, peace, sitting on the edge of an abyss and admiring the Earth we live on. More simple I guess. Yes I sound like a damn hippie, but I guess that’s just my personal preference. Beauty should not be expensive or dangerous, lol. Many will disagree with that, that is ok. That’s why I asked the question after all! I see the other side, I just don’t agree with it. Case settled I suppose.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@deni….but much of the natural Earth is incredibly violent. Volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, animals tearing other animals to bits….

deni's avatar

@Dutchess_lll True but why add more violence to the equation?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why not? Fireworks are pretty.

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