Some people absolutely love the booms, bangs and crackles of a fireworks display, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Others have concerns over how anxious the noise can make their pets, while residents in major tourist cities are worried about noise pollution.
A council in Scotland is now set to review whether silent or near silent fireworks could be the way to keep everyone happy. Edinburgh councillors are to commission a report on the impact of noise from fireworks displays which go on in this tourist-friendly, culturally rich capital city all year round. The council agreed that while fireworks in the city add colour, excitement and gaiety to special events in Edinburgh, it’s important to consider the needs of local residents.
The report will look at the impact of noise on the wellbeing of people and animals, and whether lots of large fireworks displays could be causing damage to the city’s many historical buildings through vibration. It will also consider alternatives, such as silent fireworks.
Pros and cons
There are clearly two sides to this debate, and not just in Edinburgh. Councillor Joanna Mowat, who is very much behind the report, said:
“This is an opportunity to look carefully at this issue and investigate whether new technology can reduce the noise but keep the spectacle which could make life a little quieter for residents of the city protecting the high level of amenity for residents of Edinburgh.”
There are those that believe that a key part of the enjoyment of fireworks is the noise, which makes a display exciting and dynamic. Organiser of the annual Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, Penny Dougherty, told BBC News:
“The Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fireworks are the signature element of an event that brings in 150,000 visitors from around the world and generates an economic impact of over £42m to the city of Edinburgh.
“Firework displays are a key part of every major New Year celebration around the world, and Edinburgh holds its own with cities such as London, Sydney, Dubai and Rio de Janiero at midnight on 31 December.”
Being a responsible display organiser
Fireworks may be noisy, but they don’t have to be disruptive, annoying or distressing to local residents or their pets. Responsible display organisers do the following to keep everyone happy:
- Hold displays in large open venues as far away from residential areas as possible
- Visit immediate neighbours to the site to warn them of the display and advise them to keep pets inside
- Widely publicise the event through marketing and social media so that everyone knows what’s happening when
- Obey all local authority rules and not hold fireworks displays at anti-social times
You can also choose quieter fireworks that emphasis spectacular visual effects over loud noises. Specialists such as 1st Galaxy Fireworks have a whole category of quiet fireworks to choose from, and are happy to offer advice on the right products to choose if noise is a concern.