Now, officials have had enough.
Why the fireworks are going off so frequently is anyone’s guess. And city officials say they don’t yet know where the big ones are coming from.
Conspiracies abound over who’s responsible, but it’s clear that the incessant fireworks displays are an inconvenient and dangerous phenomenon in an already surreal American moment.
Firework problems in the Northeast and West Coast
There seems to be no geographic pattern behind which cities are shooting off the most.
“This is a serious issue,” he said. “People are frightened. People are losing sleep. Babies and kids are woken up. Pets are terrified. Our veterans and others with PTSD are experiencing real harm, and it’s a real fire hazard in our city.”
Southern California’s staying up all night, too.
New York’s fireworks problem is among the worst, with residents in all five boroughs losing sleep for over a week.
Nuisance fireworks are not an entirely new issue for the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Tuesday news conference, but there are “more [fireworks] than we’ve seen” in years past, and they’re being lit up earlier than usual.
“This is a real problem,” de Blasio said. “Not just a quality of life problem and a noise problem, and it’s certainly that. But it can also be dangerous.”
De Blasio said the NYPD, along with the New York City Sheriff’s Office and fire officials, will create an illegal fireworks task force to crack down on illegal fireworks sales in the city and surrounding states. Participating officers will conduct “sting operations” to locate the supply and cut it off, the mayor said.
New York’s firework problem
The light show is more than a nuisance keeping New Yorkers up all night — the explosives are dangerous too.
According to Adams’ office, a Bronx teen was hit in the chest with a firework and hospitalized in stable condition, and a 33-year-old Brooklyn man was hospitalized in critical condition when a firework he set off ricocheted off a window and hit him.
“As I stroll around and look at some of these fireworks, they’re extremely sophisticated, beyond the normal scope of what we used as children,” Adams said. “This is definitely not just some firecracker.”
Most of the Brooklynites he encounters tell him they set off the fireworks to blow off steam after being cooped up for most of the spring — New York was for months considered the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Some said they were in their home for a few months, and this is just their way of having fun,” he said. “Oftentimes, people don’t realize the dangers associated with it.”
And of course, there are the conspiracies hinting at nefarious motives — unproven allegations in the fog of a late-night M-80.
This year could see more ‘backyard fireworks’ than ever
Leaders in the fireworks industry expect the run-up to July 4th to end the lull in sales throughout the winter and early spring. But even they’ve never seen sales soar quite as early as they did this year.
And those are just the legal ones.
Backyard firework use is expected to hit an all-time high this Fourth of July, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association, a trade group for consumer and commercial fireworks retailers.
Bill Weimer is vice president and general counsel at Phantom Fireworks, which brands itself the leading fireworks retailer in the US. In his nearly 30 years in the pyrotechnics business, this is the first season that’s “knocked [him] over.”
“Without reviewing specific numbers, the demand and the business we’ve seen so far has been the strongest early fireworks season I’ve seen in my years of involvement in the fireworks business,” he said.
Weimer said more people are buying fireworks from Phantom, and they’re buying them earlier than ever. Weeks before the the usual busy season of mid-June through the Fourth, Phantom locations have seen customers turn into repeat customers.
Around 40% of them are first-time buyers, he said. And because cities are canceling fireworks shows for the Fourth, Weimer suspects residents are taking it on to light up the skies themselves.
“It’s a combination of people getting out, being anxious and having this pent-up energy, and then right around the corner is a quintessential firework holiday,” he said. “Put the two together, consider the fact that there won’t be a lot of fireworks, and suddenly, you have a formula that means people are buying more and more fireworks, and buying them earlier.”
Mayor de Blasio, for his part, is hoping to bring the fireworks to the people. He announced the city will host a traveling, 5-minute fireworks show in each of the five boroughs starting next week, which will culminate in the televised Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show next month.
Source : CNN