Some Residents Frustrated with Fireworks, Others Enjoy Greater Availability

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – The first Fourth of July following the change in Pennsylvania’s state laws pertaining to fireworks saw a slew of complaints on Facebook; however, there were few complaints to law enforcement agencies in our area.

(PHOTO: A man watches fireworks set off by private citizens to celebrate Independence Day from a vantage point at the Liberty Memorial on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel.)

Fireworks enthusiasts had bigger, and some would say better, ammunition in their arsenal this year thanks to a new Pennsylvania law signed into effect late last year.

The new law allows Pennsylvania residents to buy and use any fireworks that comply with federal requirements for consumers. The complete version of the new law can be viewed here.

According to some local residents, the noise and lights of some of the fireworks being set off – often lasting well into the night – are prone to upsetting pets and small children, sometimes affect those with PTSD or anxiety, and can prevent people from getting sleep.

“Since they are now legal in PA, we just have to get used to it. I read every day about people whose dogs are freaking out over them. We’re used to it – on the fourth. Now it’s random and our dog suffers like everyone else’s. People don’t care,” said Marilynne S. Dwire.

“My neighbors do not understand what a noise ordinance is, even after being asked politely numerous times to not set them off after 10 p.m.,” Nikki Hart commented.

Though some local residents are less than pleased with the disruptions caused by the larger fireworks now available, it seems that most local law enforcement agencies haven’t seen any increase in official complaints. spoke to representatives of several local law enforcement agencies and got very different answers in different areas of the county.

A representative of the Brookville Borough Police Department said they had no complaints at all pertaining to fireworks this year, while a representative of the Punxsutawney-based State Police said they received a few noise complaints, but no more than any previous year.

However, a bit further to the east, the Reynoldsville Police Department dealt with a lot of noise complaints, which a representative there said have continued on since the Fourth of July holiday.

While some residents are unhappy with the prolific noise caused by fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday, others are reveling in the newfound freedom to enjoy bigger, better pyrotechnics from the comfort of their own property.

Kyle Yates told, “(I) witnessed a ton more!”

“Loved it…the celebration of the birthday of our great country and the freedoms we get to share!” Kevin Knight said.

“Let freedom ring, be proud of your country and its heritage,” stated Carrie Johnston.

“Loved it. Glad they finally made them legal in Pa.” Jerry W. Barger commented.

Though a full range of consumer fireworks are now available to Pennsylvania residents, those wishing to set off their own display should also be mindful of their safety and the safety of those around them, as well as state regulations about the use of fireworks.

The Pennsylvania State Police website lists the following restrictions on where fireworks can be used:

  • They cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner;
  • They cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building;
  • They cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building; and
  • They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure.

In addition, fireworks cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.

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