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Illegal Fireworks Can Trigger PTSD Flashbacks and Other Emotional Symptoms

Combat veterans with Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be traumatized by illegal fireworks.

Many communities in California allow the use of “safe-and-sane” fireworks approved by the State Fire Marshal on the day of July 4th only. These are fireworks that do not explode or go into the air. Their sound does not travel far. And families can enjoy them responsibly as part of a fun…and safe…July 4th celebration. Their use also benefits  community groups that sell them at stands throughout the city between July 1-4.

However, some people make the fateful decision each year to purchase and use fireworks that are illegal in California for personal use. These include skyrockets and explosives…all of which are illegal in California and dangerous to use…especially in highly populated residential neighborhoods and urban areas.

If you’re thinking of using illegal fireworks, did you know…?

Some combat veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be traumatized by illegal fireworks.

The U.S. Marine Corps urges Americans to be considerate of the veterans living among us when it comes to illegal fireworks use. A Marine veteran of two tours in Iraq said he can prepare for events like the annual fireworks display that his hometown puts on at a certain time. But the sudden rat-a-tat of firecrackers set off by his neighbors throughout the night transports him back to Baghdad and sets him on edge. Communities are urging residents to be considerate of veterans…and think twice before using illegal fireworks.

Pets can also be traumatized by loud fireworks…and more pets run away from home and are lost on July 4th than on any other day. 

Like veterans, most pet owners can prepare their animals for a short, one-time event like a planned fireworks show or the use of safe-and-sane fireworks whose sound does not travel far. But there’s no preparing for the loud and unexpected sounds of illegal skyrockets, firecrackers and other explosives, including those happening late at night.

Many cities have a hotline set up and some even have apps to report illegal fireworks.