November 22, 2014

Fireworks, fireworks everywhere

By Jessie Tobias
Staff Writer | info@ogemawherald.com

Posted 7/11/12

Fourth of July festivities have concluded, but that doesn’t mean fireworks season is done — and people who plan to enjoy their pyrotechnics throughout the summer should make a point of being considerate of their neighbors as they enjoy themselves.

A lot of people go nuts with fireworks over the holiday weekend (or in the case of the recent Fourth of July celebrations, weekends). A few keep going nuts with them all summer, and the recent relaxation of state laws governing fireworks means there’s a lot more fun to be had.

Types of fireworks that have been illegal for pretty much all of my lifetime have been given the thumbs up by the state. That’s right — all you enthusiasts who travel down to Ohio every year and load up on the fun fireworks can get them right in your own backyard. But while many people are having a blast trying out these formerly illegal fireworks, their enthusiasm can tick off the neighbors, especially when the big booms are still going strong into the wee hours of the morning.

In some places, locally and nationally, that kind of fireworks abuse has caused governments to take steps making some people wait longer than they’d like for their next fireworks fix.

A week or so before the Fourth, Bangor Township in Bay County took steps to restrict days fireworks can be lit off in the township. They were so fed up with fireworks continuing to be set off throughout the night, they cut residents off as much as they could, limiting fireworks days to federal holidays and the days before and after them.

Now, I enjoy my sleep as much as the next person — and I also have a dog absolutely terrified of loud noises in any form, so I tend to agree that moderation is a good thing — but it seems like this was a case where a few people taking things too far created the problem, and township residents got sick of it.

To go so far as to totally eliminate fireworks use apart from holidays, people must have been pretty ticked off. I interpret that to mean that a few enthusiastic people, most of whom were probably visitors in the state campground down there, let themselves get carried away without thinking at all about locals. That’s right, those people who weren’t on vacation, and had to get up the next morning bleary-eyed because fireworks kept them awake until 2 a.m.

This type of situation is less of a problem in our more rural areas, where houses aren’t packed in so tight your neighbor sleeps two feet from your bathroom window. But that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be considerate of their neighbors as they celebrate special occasions and holidays with fireworks.

I enjoy the sparklers and the big bangers as much as the next person — though I usually view them from my bedroom window, with Charlie, my terrified dog, trying to bury his head under my legs.

Yep, moderation is a good idea.

An ounce of consideration goes a long way, and can prevent irate neighbors from getting that way in the first place. Keep in mind, crossing the line can have consequences, and not only for you.

As is usually the case, bad behavior from a few people can ruin it for everyone.

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