Dear South Waverly Residents,
The Fourth of July and its attendant celebrations are almost upon us. This will result in many people purchasing fireworks and setting them off to celebrate.
We would like to ask our South Waverly residents to reconsider this fireworks tradition. I do appreciate that there are many traditions that families have had for years. There are however many negative side effects of fireworks displays in one’s back yard.
Safety is a large one. Fireworks handled by amateurs can be very dangerous. The types of fireworks that cause the most injuries are firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets. The most frequently injured body parts are the hands, head/neck, and eyes.
In 2020 there were an estimated 900 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets. There were an estimated 800 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers.
Fireworks also cause significant property loss and damage. Every year, fireworks cause approximately 18,500 fires. More fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year
We must seriously consider the veterans who live in our community. They have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and other parts of the world putting their lives on the line every day. We have honored them with the many recognition banners flying in our community. Many of our veterans suffer from PTSD and fireworks can and do cause serious flash backs for them. Somehow, I do not think celebrating our independence at the harm of those who continue to fight for that independence is appropriate. It’s also a bit hypocritical to fly banners honoring our veterans yet ignore the impact our fireworks activities have on them.
Fireworks also has a serious impact on our pets. Almost all dogs, and some cats are absolutely terrified of the noise and commotion. This leads to extreme anxiety in these animals, panting, pacing and trying to hide in small spaces in which they will not fit.
South Waverly’s Fireworks Ordinance, for all practical purposes, bans the setting off of fireworks in South Waverly. The following link will give you the details. https://ecode360.com/31887547. Please respect this ordinance.
We acknowledge this letter may not make any difference in your mind, but please take some time to carefully think about these issues. Keep the fourth of July safe in our community and respect the impact fireworks has on our veterans and pets.
Thank you for your cooperation,
Timothy Hickey, Mayor and South Waverly Borough Council