Fireworks frequently cause wildfires, contaminate water with the carcinogen perchlorate that is found in explosives and leave behind unexploded shells, tiny pieces of plastic and other debris.
During the blasts, startled deer and other animals often run into roadways and birds flee their nests, abandoning their chicks. Fireworks were blamed for the deaths of 5,000 birds in Arkansas after red-winged blackbirds and European starlings took off in panicked flight. The night-blind birds crashed into houses, signs and other obstacles, causing blunt-force trauma and death.
Dogs scared by the deafening explosions have been known to break chains, jump fences, tear through screen doors and even leap through glass windows in an attempt to escape the noise. Terrified cats often bolt as well and animal shelters report an increase in lost animals turning up in the days following fireworks displays.
In addition to being kinder to the environment and safer for animals, laser light shows are less expensive to produce and provide just as much “ooh” and “aww” for spectators.