Cat Astrology,  Cats

The Dark Side Of July 4th Fireworks: Safety Tips For People, Pets and Wildlife

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The Dark Side Of July 4th Fireworks: Safety Tips For People, Pets and Wildlife by Layla Morgan Wilde

Firework displays have grown more elaborate and spectacular over the years but there is a dark side of July 4th fireworks. When we see these global spectacles on TV or online, every city in the world wants to out do the other. They are no doubt impressive. And no surprise given the long history of fireworks dating back the Han Dynasty in China.

Updated 2023:The war in Ukraine is still raging. The only positive about the poor air quality from Canadian wildfires is the cancellation of many fireworks.)

Every year I post about firework safety in regards to cats and dogs but this year I had a huge aha. Maybe because of the relentless scenes of war in Ukraine. The loud bombing is not unlike fireworks. I realized what is meant to be a happy celebration is more war-like and destructive. We might think it’s fun but animals and wildlife do not. They go into flight or fight mode with often deadly results.


Firework safety isn’t just about our cat’s well being but everything. It’s about our environment, air quality, land, air and water pollution. It’s about the destruction of wildlife habitats. It’s about panic and fear and PTSD. It’s about added stress, unnecessary deaths, disorientation, loss and displacement.

And that’s just the fireworks. Never mind dangers from parties, BBQ, lost or injured pets.

If you haven’t already read my Holistic Summer Safety Guide, please do.

This graphic is a new/old one from my new blog feature Rainbow Bridge Wisdom

It’s no accident that the loud booming sounds are like being in the middle of a battleground. The closer we stand to the source, the louder the noise. In some ways small backyard fireworks are worse because of our proximity to them for sound and smells.

The bright explosion of colorful lights may only last a few minutes but the aftermath is deadly.

  • The chemical-laden ash poisons water and wildlife habitats,
  • The exploded firework shells are made of plastic and pollute land and sea.
  • The smoke pollutes the air with a toxic brew of heavy metals including lead.
  • The smoke changes air quality for about two months, a risk for asthma and respiratory illness.

What’s worse, firework displays aren’t limited to July 4th weekend but staggered to events all summer.

Another new/old graphic from Rainbow Bridge Wisdom.

There is an emerging trend towards safer, quieter July 4th celebrations. It’s a start but it all fireworks pollute. The only totally silent displays are light shows.


Every year children, adults and animals are burned, blinded or maimed from fireworks. If you insist on firing off your own, please for the upteenth time, keep your pets far away.

Never give fireworks to young children, even sparklers. Always supervise.

Fireworks and excess alcohol consumption is a recipe for disaster.

Read and carefully follow the directions on the labels.

Only use fireworks outdoors away from buildings or furniture on a flat, fireproof
surface that is free from debris.

Have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby.

Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks.

Light only one firework at a time.

If a firework doesn’t light the first time, don’t pick it up or re-ignite.

Never throw fireworks at another person or animal. Use your common sense!

Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from a metal or glass container.

Allow finished fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes and submerge in water for at
least 2 minutes. Drain and place in a plastic bag.

Dispose of used fireworks in a plastic bag and place in a garbage can outdoors, lid on.

Have a safe and hopefully quieter July 4th and summer. Your pets will thank you, not the mention the birds, bees and other critters.

Love, Layla, Odin, Nou Nou and the glittering Angels of the Rainbow Bridge who don’t want any early arrivals.


  • Marvelous Marv

    We are lucky. The laws here may only be sold to and discharged by a person or organization at a public display if the public display is held with the written permission of the fire commissioner or any of his local assistants having jurisdiction in the fire district where the public display is held. Which means our village fire department buys, sets up and lets off the displays. THey take place in a park (it has no trees, no one is allowed near the area except the firemen. All the communities along the valley contribute and boy oh boy has it cut down on accidents. Even our neighbors across the border have enacted some newcounty regulations around fireworks. As Socrates says, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. Change is happening! Keep on being Awesome! Thanks for visiting, Marv and Barb

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    We are sooooooooooooooo anti-fireworks! The stupid people around here also think it is ok to set them off for days on end. We also have a minor league ball team in our town and a rich man that wants to display his wealth under the guise of helping the town by paying for fireworks to be set off at every home ballgame. I HATE them!!! Once a year on New Years and 4th of July for one day each is more than enough. We would like to not even have that much!
    Most of my guys are pretty mellow and unless they are super close and loud they don’t pay much attention to them.
    Luvs Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang and the Angels >^..^^..^<~

  • Amy Harlib

    Fortunately in midtown urban NYC where I and my apartment kitty Astor live, there is barely any fireworks noise.

    The municipal celebrations are not audible or visible from my flat.

    I am aware of the down sides of these displays and I am glad you are sharing about that.

  • meowmeowmans

    We hate fireworks here, and sadly, there are some knuckleheads who set them off for weeks. We feel especially sad for the animals and those for whom the explosions are triggering. Luckily, Ava is pretty chill about them, but we still keep the curatins drawn and some music on for her.

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