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MAP: Where Are Illegal Fireworks Lighting Up NYC?

By Nigel Chiwaya | June 30, 2015 12:13pm

NEW YORK CITY — Macy's will light up the night sky with fireworks Saturday, but it's the city's 311 system that explodes for nearly a week before Independence Day — with complaints about illegal fireworks from agitated locals.

In honor of the upcoming holiday weekend, DNAinfo New York analyzed the past five years of illegal fireworks complaints and mapped out the neighborhoods that are most rattled by contraband explosives in the week leading up to the Fourth of July.

The map below shows all complaints to 311 about fireworks in NYC during "Independence Week," the period from July 1 to July 4, for the years between 2010-2014.


According to the data, residents of northern Manhattan and southern Brooklyn have complained most frequently about illegal fireworks since 2010.

And it's Inwood neighbors who are rattled the most often, with 36 fireworks complaints since 2010 — 15 of them during Independence Week periods — in the 10034 zip code, according to city data.

Washington Heights came in third, with 31 in the 10032 zip code, data show. Fifteen of the complaints came during holiday weeks.

That news is no surprise to uptown residents, who have such a long history with illegal fireworks that Dyckman Street's fireworks scene was immortalized in a documentary last year.

The 11214 ZIP code, which includes parts of Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Gravesend, technically came in second place with 32 complaints. However, most of the complaints were from 2011 and 2012, with very few in 2013 and 2014.

Illegal fireworks seemed to spare Midtown Manhattan and northern Brooklyn. DNAinfo New York found that there was just a single fireworks complaint — dated July 5, 2011 — in Midtown reported in the past five years.

DUMBO — which overlooks the East River site of the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show — also received just one complaint and Brooklyn Heights had none.

The illegal fireworks don't stop in July, however. While citywide complaints spike during Independence week, 311 complaints about the illegal fireworks shows around the city remain steady year-round.