Letter to the editor: Time for a complete ban on fireworks


Having had dogs who were severely traumatized by fireworks and now knowing about returned soldiers with PTSD who are affected, I recommend a complete ban on fireworks. We used to take our dogs camping in the mountains to get away from the noise, but that is not an option for many pet owners.

Sorry to say this but we are long past the time when this was a thick forest with very few people. We’re living cheek-to-jowl now and we all have to give up a few old habits.

Cliff Sanderlin

  1. I agree. I’ve heard fireworks all evening near City Park and some were extremely loud. I thought they were banned in the city limits, but it’s not being enforced. Time to start enforcing the ban for the safety of all people, pets and property.

  2. I read recently about a city in Italy that has figured out a way to do fireworks completely silently. Perhaps this would make everyone happy.

  3. I agree! We’re in an unincorporated area and it was like a war zone for two nights! Our poor pets are exhausted, Nevermind the trash/residue on our street. I’m hopeful the celebrants simply didn’t sweet it all up in the dark and they will clean the remains during the day. I sure we don’t have anyone with PTSD in the area, as I can only imagine what they are dealing with today. It really is time to stop this nonsense and enjoy the professional displays offered all over the area.

  4. I agree about the ban with all of you but unless you call the police nothing will be done. There are people who spend an hour shooting them off but then there are those who for 3-4-5 hrs shoot them off (where do they get the money? and how about cleaning up your yard with some of that cash next year)

    1. Unfortunately the Police are not interested in this. They will say they do not have the manpower to follow up on all of the calls they get or that they will “look into it” but I seriously doubt they do. I witnessed an Edmonds Police Cruiser yesterday driving by and just a few seconds later a VERY LOUD report was heard. The cruiser was still in my sight but just kept driving. Did not even slow down.
      This childish antiquated practice needs to end. There are many, many Professional fireworks displays to be enjoyed.

  5. I agree with a ban on private sale and use of fireworks. Living in unincorporated Snohomish County where it is “legal” to set off as many fireworks as you like on July 4th has changed my perspective on this issue. The walls and windows in my home shook each time that “fireworks” which sounded more like explosives or mortar sounds were repeatedly set off all evening into the early hours of July 5th. There is a difference between a few sparklers and firecrackers and the explosive grade devices being sold particularly in the Native American venues which are excessively noisy and disruptive to anyone’s quiet enjoyment of their property. Not only were my dogs upset, I felt as if I were in a war-torn country for the past two days. Given the many public firework displays in the metro Seattle area, there is no need to allow explosive grade devices to be set off repeatedly I densely populated urban areas.

    1. Many of the fireworks set off even in unincorporated areas are illegal everywhere in the state except for tribal areas. A flyer from WSP here https://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/docs/fireworks/device.pdf discusses this. However, as pointed out by Mr. Henline above, the current laws are not routinely enforced unless an accident occurs resulting in injury or property damage, so banning all fireworks in all areas probably won’t stop the violations either.

  6. I, too, wish fireworks were banned. I also have read of “silent” fireworks, and not just in Italy. We never know who in our neighborhood has a veteran or a former refugee from even years ago who is affected by the noise. My husband was subjected to much incoming artillery in the Korean War, where he was wounded. He still flinches at the very loud noises. We live downtown and can hear the noise all night long–and not just from the City fireworks. The noise continued into the wee hours.

  7. I submitted a response earlier today but it’s not showing up. Here’s the NYT article about the silent fireworks:

    As someone who lives across from Esperance, I put up with listening to fireworks going off for several hours last night. It didn’t help that neighbors on the incorporated side of Edmonds Way were also shooting off fireworks. I had to bring my cat inside. I let her back out around 12:30 a.m.. The sound of fireworks went on for another 15 minutes.

  8. I could not agree more with a total ban on fireworks. I live on Talbot Rd and it was so loud until about 1 AM even with all my windows closed. My two dogs were pretty scared.

  9. As I understand Cliff Sanderlin’s recommendation is for a COMPLETE BAN ON FIREWORKS and not just the ones that individuals decide to ignite.
    I know fireworks have been a traditional Fourth of July celebration, but it is time to change our expectations of this celebration. I too had a lion hearted German Shepard until fireworks reduced her to a shivering frightened dog that hid behind the toilet bowl.
    Our military veterans I’m sure can do without those sounds and what it once meant to them in the field of war. Why can’t we keep them out of our neighborhoods and just watch them silently being shown from barges in large cities that can control the proximity to animals, pets and people?
    Thank you Cliff Sanderling for your attention to the subject.
    Ingrid Wolsk

  10. Here come the fun police. Your dogs are YOUR problem, put them in a quite room with Bach playing or something.

  11. So…. It’s ‘fun’ to be shooting off fireworks at 2am, July 5th? Because, me and the dogs where hoping to be sleeping…. But that’s ‘my (OUR) problem’?

  12. Just think, if people who shoot off fireworks on their personal property knew about self-control, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. However, the ‘fun’ loving supporters go overboard with their need to shoot off fireworks – rockets – excessively before, during, and after the actual holiday. I would sign a petition to ban fireworks, and fine the offenders, in a heartbeat. It’s not just pets who are traumatized, but human beings as well, Mr. Eschevez.

  13. “Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise. There’s one thing I hate, all the noise, noise, noise, noise!” Edmonds is a very noisy place in the summer, it begins with the Waterfront Festival music which can be heard well enough to hum along up in Seaview…..Then there’s the train and ferry whistles, Art Festival, weddings at the library, construction, endless fire trucks, stupid birds and crying babies.
    It’s all an Edmonds kind of noise and part of living in paradise. (ps my dogs were scared too but I’m with Guillermo Eschevez)

  14. I happen to like the sound of train whistles. It’s just the heavy duty fireworks – M-80s and the like that I have a problem with being set off July 3rd through 5th. My cat was outside when my neighbor started setting off fireworks. My cat hid under a vehicle until I came out to bring her in. She wasn’t super happy about being kept in but I did successfully keep her in for about 4 hours. Then let her back out around 12:30 a.m.

  15. I’m for a ban, with the possible exception of a civic display at very fixed hours. It is the constant dribble of later and late explosions that cause the problem. A similar ban on New Year’s Even would be nice as well: my neighborhood sounds like Omaha Beach, and the barrage often starts the night before, and on the evening, goes on for hours.

  16. It is not a trauma for 99.99% of the veterans. Of the few that claim it is a trauma. most never even saw combat. Let’s get real and not use vets as an excuse. And dogs should not dictate how we celebrate our holidays. I am with Gullermo Eschevez as well.

  17. As someone who pauses when they hear fireworks on the Fourth and reflects on the real reason why people use them this time of year, I’m not only siding with Gullermo Eschevez, but I’m going to thank the liberty we have and the freedom people are exercising when they celebrate with them.

    1. Having the liberty to do something and doing it thoughtlessly and to the annoyance of others are two different things; freedom also implies sometimes a degree of restraint in the way it is exercised.

  18. Leigh,
    It may be a freedom to shoot off fireworks, but let’s stick to the safe ones and not the ones that make neighborhoods sound like war zones.

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