Be neighborly with your fireworks

In Tuesday’s edition, reporter Steve Schulwitz told us about the Alpena Municipal Council’s efforts to update the city’s fireworks ordinance to comply with a new state law on Michiganders’ use of consumer-grade celebratory explosives.

The new law specifies the times and dates when local governments are required to allow residents to use fireworks.

We’ve written before about our distaste for the state mandating when local governments can regulate something as hyper-local as noisy neighborhoods and fire hazards, so we won’t repeat that sentiment in any detail here.

Instead, we want to focus on a quote in Schulwitz’s story from Alpena Police Chief Joel Jett: “Unfortunately, we will always have people who don’t play by the rules. We understand people want to have a good time and celebrate the holidays, but we hope they will do so in a respectful, safe and considerate manner. Just be a good neighbor. If you know someone next door has to wake up in the morning, be conscious and respectful of that.”

Indeed, no law or ordinance can replace simple good manners and neighborly consideration when it comes to noisemakers.

As we near the summer holiday season, we know Alpena residents will want to celebrate by shooting off fireworks.

But we hope you’ll do so with your neighbors in mind.

Don’t shoot off fireworks early in the morning or too late at night. Don’t shoot them toward your neighbors’ homes or yards. Be conscious of their children and pets who might be afraid of the loud bang and light show.

Be courteous. Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.

And think before you light that fuse.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)