With Philly Fed Up, Lawmakers Work to End Late Night Fireworks

Between May 29 and June 16, Philadelphia police received more than 870 explosion complaints

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It’s a noise that’s been a nuisance for many Philadelphians over the past few weeks; the crackling and loud booms of late night fireworks in parks and residential streets throughout the city.

“The city has received many complaints about fireworks going off at all hours,” Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said Tuesday. “Disrupting sleep, causing anxiety in people and pets.” 

Between May 29 and June 16, Philadelphia police received more than 870 explosion complaints. Tony Bey of West Mount Airy told NBC10 he’s heard the fireworks starting around 10 p.m. and continuing past midnight. 

“I don’t understand it,” Bey said. “It’s not the Fourth of July. It’s not New Year’s. I just don’t know what’s going on. It ain’t nothing personal against nobody but I just feel as though people need to be considerate. It’s not all about them.” 

Currently fireworks are allowed in Philadelphia as long as it’s 150 feet away from a building and not sold by a vendor without a permit. But with Philly residents frustrated and fed up, Pennsylvania lawmakers are working to pass a bill to limit their usage during the later hours. 

Under House Bill 1687, a person must be 18 to buy fireworks and 21 to operate them. The bill would also prevent usage between 10 p.m. through 10 a.m. unless on the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve. 

“The simple fact is these are extremely dangerous products and the risks far outweigh the momentary excitement of these explosions,” Abernathy said. 

The bill is currently awaiting consideration by the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. 

Other cities across the country have also seen a dramatic spike in fireworks and residential complaints. 

Fireworks complaints have risen 2300% in Boston while in New York City, where the mayor organized a Task Force, complaints reached 1700 in the first two weeks of June compared to just 21 at the same time last year.

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