Please be considerate with your fireworks this Fourth of July. Some towns allow fireworks to be discharged late at night – Westbrook, for example, incredibly allows fireworks until 12:30 a.m. on certain dates – but merely being legal doesn’t make it a good idea.

Some of your neighbors work at jobs in fields like health care that don’t automatically have holidays off. Holiday or not, they need a good night’s sleep ahead of an early wake-up the next morning.

I, for one, work 12-hour shifts in the emergency room on July 4, 5, 6 and 7. The night between two 12-hour shifts is short enough without firecrackers and bottle rockets going off around the neighborhood at midnight.

If I couldn’t sleep because someone was banging a drum in the street at midnight, I could call the police for some relief. But since it is explicitly legal in Westbrook to disturb the peace with fireworks at midnight on certain dates, the police won’t intervene.

Have fun exercising your rights, but keep your neighbors’ rights in mind, too. And if, God forbid, your recreational explosives should go off in your face, just hope the medical people patching you up are at the top of their game and not sleep-deprived by inconsiderate neighbors shooting off fireworks until all hours the night before!

E.L. Clopton