NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fireworks in New York are illegal, but you’d never know it these days.

Complaints are way up and patience is going down.

If you’ve been anywhere around the city in the past few weeks you may have noticed fireworks are a booming business.

It seems the skies are lighting up even when there’s nothing to celebrate.

Blast-off comes any hour, night or day, much to the disgust of the people who have to listen to them.

“It goes on until about one in the morning, up to about one in the morning,” Morris Park resident Michael Buitrago said.

He says the show goes on and on and on.

“It’s loud and it’s consistent. It’s been happening every day for the past couple weeks,” he said.

The city is now getting consistent complaints from 311.

Looking at the daily numbers from the first two weeks of June, it started with seven complaints in one day and has gone up to 455 complaints in one day.

The numbers add up to a total of 1,249 complaints in just 14 days.

The police department says it’s issued 22 summonses and made eight arrests.

“Lot of fireworks out there, huh?” CBS2’s Dick Brennan asked Donovan Richards, chairman of the New York City Council Public Safety Committee.

“Well, I’m not only hearing, but I’m seeing them and hearing it from my bedroom window pretty much every day,” Richards said.

He says while fireworks are illegal, police should not have to focus on them.

“We really don’t want them dealing with this low-level stuff, so I would urge the public to follow the rules,” Richards said.

And of course, it’s not just New York City.

“For the last maybe two or three nights, it’s been really, really terrible in the Mount Vernon Westchester area,” Mount Vernon resident Bobby Hodges said.

Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard says if you want to call in a complaint, give a specific location.

“Don’t just say, ‘We are hearing fireworks’ because with fireworks reverberating and echoing off of buildings, it’s very hard to pinpoint where they are,” she said.

The mayor says be warned, the city will write tickets and dish out fines.

Residents have a message for those firing away.

“It’s not the Fourth of July yet, so when the Fourth of July comes, then you need to do your fireworks,” Mount Vernon resident Dolores James said.

For the record, the Fourth of July is 18 days away.

Comments (6)
  1. J Jacobson says:

    The fireworks start in Queens, just opposite the mayor’s mansion in Carl Shurz Park. They start when the sun goes down and last until over 1 AM in the morning. Is the mayor not bothered by this? I wake up every night to these blasts and live across the street from the mayor’s mansion.

  2. KerryChad Albright says:

    My friends have spotted guys on mopeds packed with fireworks. Some people believe that a group is passing them out as psychological warfare to create civil unrest. I know it sounds conspiracy-ish but these kids do not have the money to be setting off that many fireworks everyday. No one buys that many either. So I think its logical to think that maybe someone is trucking those fireworks in. Maybe the same people leaving piles of bricks. Just something to think about. The quality of the fireworks is a high-quality as well. None of this makes financial sense. When was the last time you bought a $1,000 worth of fireworks for your kids or yourself? you didn’t! So whats up?!

  3. Lucy Hughes says:

    I am appalled that the Chairman of the New York City Council Public Safety Committee (Donovan Richards) doesn’t believe that the police should follow up on illegal activity. If this quote is correctly attributed to him, he should not be on the committee, never mind being the Chairman.

    Fireworks are illegal; they are dangerous and their extremely loud noise disturbs and frightens members of the public in their homes; they sound like gunshots. In Inwood the fireworks are being set off from dusk until 2am or 3am, and have done so for weeks. I would like to be able to get to sleep before 3am but have not seen any action by the police to stop this illegal activity.

  4. A. C. says:

    Same thing is happening in Flushing, NY. I called the 107th precinct numerous times. Nobody answered the phones. I also called 311 several times… they directed me to call 911. When I called 911, they were extremely nonchalant about it and stated they would sent a car to look around. I haven’t seen any cop car around the area, and they seem not to be doing anything about it. My neighbors have also complained about these horrendous fireworks that start around 8:30 pm and continue until about 10:30pm, but again, nobody got back to us. This is BEYOND sad!!! Fireworks scare me, my pets, and my kids…. not to mention all the wildlife out there!! This is not acceptable!!!

  5. Fizgig says:

    Happening in Middle Village, Queens, in the 104 precinct’s jurisdiction…. You can call ’til you’re blue in the face, they don’t bother to respond to complaints. Fireworks ’til 2-3 AM pretty much every night for the past 2mos. But there’s no surprise the 104 can’t be bothered to respond…. Complaints about racing on Elliot Ave. in the middle of the night — actually practically all night, every night, especially in warmer months — go ignored too. The local park’s full of people every day after 3PM now that it’s warm and there’s very little social distancing but there is no policing being done — even if you call about large grps. — again, no one at the 104 can be bothered. Businesses operating when the city has categorically said they should be closed — you can report those, too, but no one in law enforcement will do anything about it. Sad thing is, the 104 polices areas with very high covid-19 numbers.

    But the fireworks thing is not just a nuisance, but also a fire hazard as they are being set off way too close to houses. I guess police have better things to do than deal with lawbreakers who might burn your house down with illegal fireworks in the middle of the night.

  6. louis11725 says:

    It’s been happening in Suffolk County as well. In my area, for some reason, at almost precisely 9:18 p.m., loud fireworks occur. This has been going on for about 6-8 months.

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