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Noise complaint on 4th of July? Expect to wait, CMPD says

CHARLOTTE — Fourth of July weekend across the Charlotte area came with bottle rockets’ red glare, and plenty of things bursting in air, but should you call the police on your neighbors if the celebrations get too loud? The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department says if you do, be prepared to wait a while.

CMPD gets swamped on July Fourth, with hundreds of calls for service related to fireworks and other noise disturbances, Lt. Stephen Fischbach told Channel 9. That’s why he’s asking the community to be patient.

“Please understand on this busy holiday, if you’re placing calls for fireworks, there could be a very increased response time with that, as officers are dealing with not only noise complaints, but our normal calls for service as well,” Fischbach said.

The city of Charlotte’s noise ordinance allows up to 60 decibels of noise between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. For perspective, that’s about as loud as an air conditioning unit.

Fischbach says when officers respond to a fireworks-related noise complaint for the holiday, they’re also paying attention to what kind of fireworks are being lit.

“They’re going to make a determination ... are these fireworks illegal? Are they violating the noise ordinance?” Fishbach told Channel 9.

With so many “First in Flight” license plates seen across the border at South Carolina fireworks warehouses, you may wonder: “What kind of fireworks are legal in North Carolina?” The simple answer is: anything that leaves the ground is illegal. Sparklers, poppers, and fountain fireworks are good to go in North Carolina, but those aren’t the fireworks that make the loudest noises. It’s illegal to ignite firecrackers, spinners, bottle rockets, and artillery shell fireworks.

A majority of the time, CMPD officers end up being the middleman between feuding neighbors, Fischbach says. Officers can give a verbal warning, but they can also issue citations.

As far as areas outside of Charlotte, at least two North Carolina towns are taking a more relaxed approach to reporting fireworks, sharing a meme post that effectively says, “Don’t call us about fireworks.”

WATCH BELOW: Fireworks accidentally ignite, causing house to go up in flames, investigators say

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