SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The state of Georgia legalized all fireworks five years ago and left crafting sound ordinances up to local municipalities.
Savannah’s city leaders said they didn’t have the ability to draft a sound ordinance until 2017, but now they are working on creating legislation they say is both “safe” and “sane.”
Alderman Nick Palumbo said it is an ongoing issue they face every year—especially around the 4th of July, New Year’s Eve, and even Memorial Day. City officials and community members are working right now on including firework regulations in the sound ordinance the city’s noise task force has been working on.
Alderman Palumbo held a firework demonstration testing the sound emitted by different types of fireworks, all of the sound readings registered between 90 and 110 decibels. Task force members have done sound readings for concerts and other events that typically issue noise complaints, but they said the readings from the fireworks were louder than any of the other readings they had ever recorded.
The city council members said they get countless calls and concerned messages every year from community members about fireworks, but Alderman Palumbo said interest in creating regulations typically declines in the time between holidays. He said that time frame is when legislation should be drafted.
“It didn’t matter if it was one of the sparklers or the screamers or the snap pops or whatever it was; they’re all ranging about 90 to 110 decibels. So that’s enough, that’s in comparison to the train horn that runs through the city of Savannah that residents complain about all the time,” Palumbo said.
City leaders and task force members said the regulations included in their new sound ordinance will be specific to each area—including a mindful approach for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and animals that are extremely sensitive to the sound.
They plan to present a draft of the ordinance to city council in August.