As a kid I loved going to fireworks shows and I loved it even more when my parents let us make "air designs" with sparklers. I'd write my name and make squiggly twirls and all sorts of amazing things in 20 short seconds.
We never really bought much more than sparklers, as my parents preferred popping our own popcorn and finding a free fireworks show to attend rather than spending the month's budget on light-em-yourself firecrackers. I admit as I became a parent, I felt a childish giddiness take over me when I bought my first fireworks to light at home. Putting on your own little show in the driveway can be fun and let's face it, it's nice to NOT have to get to a park hours in advance to save a prime fireworks viewing spot and then wait forever in traffic to get home. So, I don't blame many for wanting to have their own fireworks at home.
The problem is, we're not talking sparklers here folks, or just on the 4th. Many will shoot off fireworks several nights throughout the month. Aerials, poppers, squealers, all of it. And things in the night are ALWAYS louder than during the day. And they especially seem louder when the neighbors are shooting them off at midnight in the middle of the week and your own littles can't sleep because of the noise and you yourself have to get up in 5 hours to get to work.
My message? Be Considerate.
So, what's the rule regarding fireworks? Well, that is up to each city's ordinances, and they do vary, by the way. Some have no rule, while others say nothing past curfew (10pm). Many city ordinances allow fireworks for up to 2 hours after sunset. (Which is typically what - 8:30, 9 pm?)
But just because that is what's allowed, doesn't mean it's POLITE or appropriate. Proper fireworks etiquette would be this:
No shooting off fireworks 2 hours after sunset, and not after 10pm on weeknights.
Seriously. I've had littles with bed times MUCH earlier than 10pm. And while much of the nation is on summer break from school, many of the districts I've lived in are on a year-round schedule. Not to mention, just because it's summer break doesn't mean every parent in your neighborhood is letting their littles stay up.
So, be considerate. Pay attention to sunset and don't shoot fireworks off 2 hours after that, or after 10pm on weeknights. Sure, you might think your neighbors do not care, since they haven't ever mentioned it before. But I guarantee, unless they are right outside shooting them off with you, you are making SOMEONE in the neighborhood ticked off. Honestly, it's plain rude.
I've lived in neighborhoods before where one or two households would light off fireworks until well past midnight. And as much as I liked my neighbors, it really irritated me of their lack of sensitivity to the others that lived on the block. Did I ever ask them not to? Did I ever call the police? No... turns out I'm much too passive-aggressive for that. I really hate confrontations. :)
So, unless you live in the middle of nowhere, without a neighbor in sight for miles, be polite.
Don't shoot your fireworks off 2 hours after sunset or after 10p on weeknights.