Fireworks complaints and sales spike in local communities, some say it’s in response to Covid-19


Several local cities and towns Western New York, have seen a big increase in complaints about fireworks — increases have been seen in the City of Buffalo, West Seneca, and most notably the City of Jamestown.

Last June, there were 31 complaints in Jamestown, and now this year there’s 65 complaints and counting…

“Now, I just checked the numbers from overnight and there were four more last night alone and we received more complaints from the community as well off line,” said Captain Robert Samuelson Jamestown Police.

William Weimer is the vice president of phantom fireworks. He says, with the 4th of July holiday around the corner, and people experiencing Covid cabin fever, his sales have been through the roof.

“I think it’s the coincidental timing between people starting to get out from the covid-19 quarantine, and the advent of the fourth of July,” he said. “You also have all this pent up energy in the people, from having been bottled up in their homes. They’re anxious to get out and celebrate and do something.”

Also, a number of annual fireworks shows, have been cancelled throughout WNY.

“There have been a tremendous number of cancellations of community fireworks this year. It’s unfortunate and it’s had a tremendous adverse impact of the professional display fireworks industry,” said Weimer. “And people want to substitute with something, and people who are not able to go out and see community fireworks shows are going to do their best to substitute.”

According to the state division of Homeland Security only sparking devices are legal in the state.

“So, from June 20th to July 5th you’ll be able to purchase those items,” said James O’Callaghan with the New York State Police.
“And, every year, every year, we deal with a lot of fireworks complaints a lot of noise complaints.”

O’Callaghan says it’s important for folks to know the difference between what’s legal and what’s not.

Here’s what’s legal… things like sparkling fountains, sparklers with wooden sticks, snakes and confetti filled party poppers.

And, here’s what’s not firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and aerial fire works.

O’Callaghan also says, if you’re caught with some of these illegal fireworks, that will get you a class-b misdemeanor.

Safety tips –

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