PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Fireworks seem to be a big problem this year, not only in Philadelphia, but across several states, and the problem only seems to be getting worse as the Independence Day holiday nears.
Lt. Steven Fink with the Abington Police Department has been fielding the town’s fireworks complaints.
“I don’t know whether it has to do with the fact that a lot of Fourth of July celebrations are being canceled or what the reason is but we have seen an increase in fireworks complaints,” Fink said.
But it’s a problem not just in Philadelphia and the suburbs, but also in New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy also says excessive fireworks usage has become an issue.
“We’re hearing far too many anecdotal stories about (fireworks) going off through the night,” he said.
Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy says fireworks are more than just a nuisance.
“Disrupting sleep, causing anxiety in people and pets and generally interfering with residents quality of life,” Abernathy said.
Abernathy attributes some of that uptick in usage to 2017 state legislation that legalized fireworks in Pennsylvania.
But Fink points out there are restrictions as to when and where people can light them off. However, those restrictions don’t impact sellers, who have made accessibility to fireworks easier since the law was changed.
“Sometimes our officers are confronted with people that don’t understand why they’re not allowed to light off fireworks to celebrate Independence Day or a birthday when they’re legal,” Fink said.