Consider others when using fireworks

There’s no denying the visual appeal of vivid, bursting fireworks against a night sky.

Fourth of July this year falls on a Monday, which means a long weekend of celebration, cookouts and recreation. And likely the sights and sounds of fireworks as people create their own shows.

For some, that will make this not just a long weekend but a painful one.

Veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder will have to endure a reminder of being in combat zones.

A significant number of dogs, too, experience noise anxiety – experts cite different percentages for the problem, but many sources say 20 to 40 percent of canines will cringe, tremble or flee when the booms and flashing lights begin. Some become so terrified they have to be sedated.

Treatments for noise anxiety are available, such as swaddling jackets, homeopathic remedies, soothing music CDs and medications. In June, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug, Sileo, specifically for canine noise aversion.

For them, a little consideration and understanding when using fireworks would be greatly appreciated.

Some municipalities have specific hours for fireworks that some residents seem to take glee in ignoring. Enforcement can be difficult.

Even if hours are not set by statute, common sense and common courtesy say the pops, bangs and flashes should not go late into the night, much less into the early morning.

So before setting off that rocket or Roman candle, consider the proximity to your neighbors, especially if they have dogs. Consider the time of day – or, even more, night. Consider how often you’re firing up those fireworks this weekend.

Even more, consider the necessity.

Even the most fervent fan of fireworks can find a show every night this weekend through Independence Day in at least one community in the area. Likely the cost to travel to one of these displays would be far less – and the firepower far better – than trying to do it yourself at home.

Why not plan instead to sit back on a blanket or lawn chair, relax and let the professionals provide the pyrotechnics this Fourth of July holiday weekend? It’s safer, it’s cheaper and your neighbors will thank you.