Note from Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson: This column ran on the Dayton Daily News’ Ideas and Voices page Tuesday, June 23.
Dayton resident Shana Lloyd is a community advocate.
Some Dayton area residents’ latest idea of fun is causing more than just loud booms.
Many — myself included — are fed up.
The nightly amateur fireworks in many local neighborhoods are nuisances unto themselves. But they also cause dogs to bark, babies to cry and windows rattle all around the region.
Many feel they are being terrorized by fireworks, a symbol of summer.
In some minds, the justification for the nightly firework displays is coming from the Statehouse.
A few weeks ago, headlines began circulating social media about an Ohio House bill that would allow people to set off some consumer fireworks on their property anytime. That, in my estimation, caused the circus.
Don’t get me wrong, living in Dayton for more than a decade I know the Fourth of July usually begins somewhere in the middle of May and ends in about October.
This is different.
It is relentless.
I think many read the headlines and may have thought it was permission to shoot off professional-grade fireworks and mortar from morning til the next morning. Forget the obvious dangers this presents to other residents and our homes, it’s still illegal and dangerous.
I reached out to Dayton Fire Marshall Andrew Steele after a night of no sleep and trying to get answers for other residents in our own neighborhood. He confirmed that discharging fireworks, without an exhibitors permit, is still illegal in Ohio.
Steele said the aerial shells that “break” and have all of the colors in the air are a fire risk if the product is still burning and it comes down onto a roof or lands in a gutter filled with dried leaves or other combustible material.
The very loud bangs/mortar shots have minimal risk for causing a subsequent fire, but he said they are extremely annoying.
In a recent Facebook post, I asked friends to share with me how they felt about the constant booms. It was pretty unanimous that the fireworks have severely disrupted their lives but what is the solution here?
Concerns mentioned were similar to my intro sentence but others also mentioned PTSD, anxiety, and fear that the rattling was impacting their mental health and coping has become increasingly more difficult.
I suspect many will read this and think otherwise. I’ve been told I am not being “patriotic,” that it’s harmless fun, and that neighborhood children and families enjoy it .
I guess the babies and families who haven’t been able to sleep in weeks don’t count.
Even if the house bill is successful, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley recently said the commission would pass laws to make it illegal, because it’s dangerous because, “we are a dense city.”
Former Dayton Mayor Gary Lietzell said “neighborhoods will need to unite and agree to a set of restrictions” if the house’s bill passes.
The solutions can come from the people. Please put your fireworks away.
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