Some Residents Frustrated with Fireworks, Others Enjoy Greater Availability

| July 11, 2018

VENANGO 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.

“Not that I mind, but it made the neighborhood dogs bark more than normal. And please be advised that some people with PTSD are triggered by the noise of fireworks. Let them know when you are doing fireworks so they can take precautions,” said Christina Myers.

“I like fireworks…however, it was rather annoying because they would be set off of course after dark and it was always around the time I was trying to get my two young children to sleep or they were already asleep,” Crystal Stiver commented.

“My dog was so upset she threw up,” said Roberta Kostek.

“I understand that people are celebrating and all, but please understand that there are some of us with pets that get beyond frightened, enough is enough,” stated Beth Blanchard.

“My nerves are all shot to heck because of it!” Kimberly Sterling commented.

Though some local residents are less than pleased with the disruptions caused by the larger fireworks now available, it seems that local law enforcement agencies haven’t seen any increase in official complaints. spoke to a representative of Venango County 9-1-1, who said their agency received no calls related to fireworks during the holiday week.

A representative of Emlenton Borough Police said they also received no calls or complaints of any kind related to fireworks.

Although 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.

“Ain’t it great to celebrate Freedom?” Georgie Martin asked.

“The people who live on the other hill from my place put on a show better than Franklin’s this year…and on both weekends!” said Josh Shreffy Shreffled.

Others are enjoying the fireworks but would like to see more restrictions on when they can be used.

“I haven’t really minded either except for maybe late Sunday night when people have to get up early Monday morning for work. It’s all in good fun and in tribute to those who have served and sacrificed for our Nation and it’s freedoms. However, perhaps a Sunday night curfew for shooting them off might be something to consider,” said Mark Shreffler.

Other residents note their safety concerns.

“I’m mostly worried about whether or not people are observing all safety measures, when they do,” Megan Evelyn Ralston 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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