It’s completely understandable to want to set off fireworks for special occasions like New Years, or the 4th of July. In most cases this is perfectly acceptable, however some neighborhoods have strict rules against this. If your’e dealing with neighbors that break the rules and are constantly shooting fireworks around you, we’re going to show you how to stop neighbors from setting off fireworks in your neighborhood.
The first thing you should do to stop neighbors from setting off fireworks is try calmly talking to that neighbor(s) about the situation. Let them know your concerns and how it’s effecting you. If this doesn’t work, calling your HOA or the police is your best option.
If you’re concerned about fireworks being set off in your neighborhood, potentially causing damage to your property and others nearby, you may feel the need to do something about it. But if you’re unsure what to do, this can become a stressful situation really quickly.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss important topics such as suing a neighbor for fireworks, as well as how and when to report them to the police.
The Hazards of Fireworks
When the holidays are over, you would think that people would stop setting off fireworks right? But in some areas, especially here in the United States where fireworks are not banned, people would still continue to set them off, much to the dismay of homeowners with pets, those with PTSD, and sensory problems.
Let’s not forget the fact that every year, there are so many stories about people getting seriously hurt by fireworks that they got for themselves. Worse than that, these fireworks may also hurt other innocent people who happen to be nearby.
But that’s not all – death can result from a firework mishap. In 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that there were 12 fireworks-related deaths. Seven of these were due to the misuse of fireworks and two of them were a result device malfunction – such as when the firecracker ignited late. Keep in mind that this is just a partial report from the CPSC.
You might even think that fireworks marketed as safe for kids don’t present any danger, but they do. The same report mentioned that sparklers were the culprit for an estimated 900 visits to the emergency room.
With these serious hazards, along with the fact that the loud cracking sound can be utterly annoying, it’s only logical that there are bans on the use of fireworks in some areas.
Can I Sue My Neighbors for Fireworks?
Despite the fact that a ban on fireworks is in place in some states, there are still people who can get away with purchasing consumer fireworks for their own entertainment. That would be unfortunate if you happen to live next to one of those lawbreakers.
If you’re one of those people who have PTSD or sensory issues, or you have a pet that is easily spooked by loud sounds – or you simply just want peace and quiet during late hours, you would want to do something.
Can You Sue Your Neighbor for Fireworks?
You can definitely sue your neighbors for fireworks, whether or not you will win a case is a different story. Before you take legal action against your neighbor who seems to enjoy his fireworks, here are some things you may want to consider:
- Was there damage done as a result of lighting fireworks? The bad news is that just by complaining to the authorities about being startled or losing sleep because of the sound of fireworks will not help much in making a case.
- If there’s actual damage that resulted from the fireworks explosion, then you might have a chance. The following damages are commonly associated with fireworks that would necessitate legal action:
- Physical injury
- Physical damage to your pet
- Negative effects on mental health on you or your pet
- Is it necessary to sue your neighbor? Most of the time, taking legal action against your neighbor should be considered as a last resort. You can always talk to your neighbor about the issue or discuss it with the Homeowners’ Association.
You have to consider if it’s worth it to spend your time and effort going through all that trouble. For instance, if a neighbor’s fireworks damaged my property, and I know that the neighbor is low on resources, I’d be wasting time and effort suing them.
In addition, you will also risk staining the relationship you have with neighbors since you will then be considered a fireworks snitch.
Can You Call the Police Over Fireworks?
Getting the authorities involved may easily be the best course of action to take if you’re fed up with the fireworks from your neighbor. You can call the police to complain about fireworks, but like taking legal action, this should be one of the last measures to take.
Also, you’d have to be constantly annoyed by the fireworks and that the problem is a recurring one or if negotiating with the neighbor didn’t help. You could have the upper hand if other neighbors agree with you and are on the same side as you.
Do Cops Care About Fireworks Complaints?
But the real question is, do the police care about complaints against people who set off fireworks? The answer is both yes or no, and it depends on the situation – such as where you live (if you live near a forest or mostly dry grass.
In addition, if you’re in a state where fireworks are considered illegal, cops can still give you a ticket. Do note that even in some states, aerial pyrotechnics are still banned, even if they’re set off during important celebrations.
One could “get arrested” for illegally setting off fireworks but really, you’ll be cited for a misdemeanor. If you’re lucky, the police officer will let you off a warning and take away your unlit firecrackers.
Who Do You Call to Report Illegal Fireworks?
If your neighbor keeps setting off those explosions and you want it to be dealt with, you can report it, especially if you’re aware that fireworks are illegal in your area. You may be tempted to call 911 to report the disturbance but this is not recommended.
The emergency hotline should be kept clear for dire situations, such as when a fire broke out as a result of the explosion, or someone got seriously hurt because of it. Instead, submit a complaint online as most states offer this option. For instance, if you live in Clark County in Nevada, you can fill out this online form and submit an illegal fireworks complaint.
If you want to contact by phone, you should call the local police or fire department’s non-emergency number. If you’re not unsure when to report, consider the following scenarios:
- If you need a confirmation from authorities on/ whether or not fireworks are legal in your area
- If someone lit up fireworks in an area where or during hours when they are banned
- If you want to get rid of consumer fireworks that you have stockpiled
- If you stumbled upon a storage house in your neighbor’s house that contained fireworks
How to Report Illegal Fireworks
When the right criteria for illegal fireworks reporting have been met, it’s time to report them to the authorities. But how do you do that?
As mentioned earlier, you can file a complaint against your annoying neighbors fireworks online. You will only need to enter the description of your complaint since personal details such as your name and email address are optional.
You have to provide the address or location where the illegal fireworks occurred. If you can’t provide the exact location, you can enter the nearest cross streets.
If you wish to contact by phone, do remember that 911 is not the number to call, as mentioned. You can look up your local non-emergency police and fire department numbers online.
What to Do When Neighbors Set off Fireworks
You can do something about your neighbor’s love for fireworks. You don’t have to jump into legal actions or be “that guy” who will report every little annoying thing that a neighbor does.
Talk to Your Neighbor
The first thing you can do is talk to your neighbor. Communication is best when dealing with disputes with neighbors. Perhaps, you might want to explain how you have PTSD and that the startling explosive sounds have a negative effect on your mental health.
If you have a pet, let your neighbor know that the fireworks scare them and stress them out. Who knows? Your neighbor might understand and be compassionate enough to put a stop to the fireworks lighting.
If you think to yourself, “I’m tired of cleaning neighbors fireworks debris in my yard,” let them know as well. After all, it’s too much of a hassle cleaning up after someone’s mess.
Maybe your neighbor doesn’t realize how bad his actions are until you call his attention. Of course, when dealing with your neighbor, do so in a calm manner, and don’t appear obnoxious. Good communication goes a long way.
Get the HOA/Landlord Involved
If you think your neighbor is a bit stubborn and that he likes to pick a fight with you, it would be a good idea to let your HOA know. If you live in an apartment, inform your landlord. You can get their attention by saying that your neighbor is putting the building at risk with his fireworks display, especially if they do it over your house.
Call the Police
When the tips mentioned above don’t work, it’s time to report to the authorities. If you don’t have a choice but to snitch, then you have to do what you have to do. Be prepared to have the reputation of being the killjoy or party pooper.
If you have to complain to the police, do it the right way. This will involve gathering proof that your neighbor is really the one setting off the illegal fireworks. Take note of the times when your neighbor likes to light the firecrackers up. If you observe that they do this at around the same time, that should make the work easier for the authorities.
You should also keep in mind not to make false reports, such as reporting that a gun has been fired just to get at your neighbor. You might end up as the one who gets a visit from the police instead of your neighbor.
If you make the call, understand that there may be a delayed response from the police. And by the time they arrive in the area, there’s nothing to check. In this case, just document the instances in which you witnessed the fireworks lighting.
If you have repeatedly called the station, ask to speak to a sergeant or lieutenant and inform them of the dilemma that some neighbors keep lighting fireworks. You might also let them know how many times you’ve called already and still got no results. Eventually, the authorities will have more officers patrolling the area.
As previously mentioned, this should be done as the last option if you have no choice, like if your neighbor doesn’t back down.
Move On And Deal With It
This is another option albeit not an ideal one that may be used if you’re not sensitive to loud noises, you don’t have PTSD, or you don’t own a pet. If the reason for your complaint is simply an annoying sound that makes you sleep bad – but really doesn’t affect you that much – you might want to deal with it and accept that you have rowdy neighbors.
To help lessen the noise, you can use earplugs or noise canceling headphones. A good recommendation is Mack’s Ultrasoft Foam Earplugs as well as the extremely popular XM3 Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones.
What to Do With Neighbors Fireworks Landing on My Roof?
Now let’s discuss what you can do in case the fireworks landed on your property. Perhaps, you found yourself cleaning fireworks debris every time or you persistently complain about “neighbors shooting fireworks over my house.”
First of all, if the fireworks are too close to your house and then end somewhere on your property – the roof perhaps – you have to be rational about it. Check if there’s real damage done. If there isn’t, move on. Don’t let it ruin your day since no harm was done. The best you can do is talk to your neighbor nicely about having the fireworks lit up a bit farther from your home.
However, if there is actual damage done, you need to call your neighbor’s attention. Aside from talking politely, offer your neighbor a choice on how they can handle the situation. That way, you’re not coming off as a person who orders others around.
Instead, you’re offering your neighbor a choice to come up with a solution. In this case, you may present two choices: have them pay for the damage straight from their pocket or inform the insurance company and let them handle it. The latter option would likely involve lawyers and that wouldn’t sound appealing to your neighbor.
And on the subject of insurance, yes, damage caused by fireworks that are set off by someone else will likely be covered by your home insurance.
How Can I Stop My Neighbors’ Fireworks?
If you’re fed up with fireworks too close to your house, you would wish that there will be none of those loud sounds in your neighborhood – ever. You would want to know how to stop fireworks in your neighborhood altogether. But is it possible?
The better question would be – can you really stop your noisy neighbors’ fireworks display? The good news is that there are things that can be done that have been mentioned above to stop the noise. The bad news is, you can’t stop people from breaking the law or stop them from being inconsiderate and rude. And if you have one such neighbor, it would be challenging for you.
Your best bet is to talk some sense into them hoping they’ll come around.
The bottom line is that the best way on how to stop neighbors from setting off fireworks is to talk to them. Let them know what your issues are. If you’re a veteran with PTSD or living with one, let them know. If you have a pet that is easily spooked, let your neighbor know as well.
Sometimes, people would do nice things for veterans and for dogs as that would make them feel good about themselves.
If polite talking doesn’t work on your neighbor, and it seems like the fireworks display is done intentionally to annoy you, then get the cops involved. You might need to make repeated calls before an action will be done.
Keep in mind to not use 911 when making a complaint involving illegal fireworks unless a fire broke out or someone is in need of medical attention. Lastly, if all these won’t work, sue your neighbor. But remember, this option can use up your time and money, so assess if it’s worth it.