HRM councillor wants to take the kaboom out of fireworks celebrations
Coun. David Hendsbee wants staff to explore possible benefits of a quieter light show
UPDATE | The motion from Coun. Davis Hendsbee requesting a staff report looking into using silent fireworks was approved by council on Tuesday in a 13-2 vote in favour of further study.
So-called silent fireworks are on the agenda for Halifax regional council on Tuesday.
Coun. David Hendsbee wants council to request a staff report about using silent fireworks for municipal events.
Quiet fireworks are not silent, but are quieter than traditional fireworks. This is because traditional fireworks are wrapped tightly and normally use metals like aluminum as components, which help create a louder boom. Silent fireworks use more black powder instead of metallic powder and are wrapped more loosely.
"I just heard from some residents who have PTSD and some pet owners who are afraid their animals are getting scared," Hendsbee told CBC News in an interview on Friday.
"There's even people making comments about wildlife getting spooked by these fireworks and perhaps we should find a more humane celebration methodology."
'There's still some noise'
Hendsbee said fireworks noise complaints pour in every time there's a significant municipal event or long weekend, so he began researching alternatives. That's when he discovered other areas using quieter fireworks.
"My understanding is the noise is about half the decibel as regular fireworks, so basically there's still some noise, but not the magnificent bangs everyone is familiar with," Hendsbee said.
If council agrees to vote in favour of a staff report on silent fireworks, Hendsbee said he would like to see it include scientific evidence on the noise difference, how much they cost compared to traditional fireworks and if there should be more enforcement against consumer backyard fireworks.
"I encourage people to do more research on the matter and see what they see elsewhere," he said.
Hendsbee is also encouraging community groups that get municipal funding for fireworks celebrations to consider using silent fireworks.
With files from The Canadian Press