Difference Between Gunshots and Fireworks

Gunshots vs Fireworks

For a common person, this may not be of vital importance, but if you happen to be a police officer, knowing the difference between a gunshot and firework may be necessary. You cannot take chances to be called for dereliction of duty treating gunshots as fireworks and not taking the action deemed fit for a police officer. This article attempts to take a closer look at gunshots and fireworks and come up with differences to help those who ought to know them.

Tell you what, with Christmas round the corner, and New Year not too far away, police departments around the country get flooded with complaints of gunshots that often happen to be mistaken for fireworks. Experienced police officers think that gunshot of different firearms sound flatter than the fireworks and have fewer echoes. They have a tinny sound and sound like a slap across the face. On the other hand, fireworks have a whistling sound and then go bang. They tend to have a sound even after bang as they sizzle out and die making a smaller sound. Because of this, a person tends to hear many echoes of fireworks.

If one listens carefully, one can hear the sounds of people screaming and then running here and there after the bang of a gunshot. These sounds are absent in case of fireworks. Normally, there are many pops in case of fireworks while there are only a few, sometimes only 2-3 bangs in case of gunshots.

Different firearms, depending upon the size of the barrel of the gun, make different sounds, and this makes it difficult to claim a sound to have originated from a firearm. However, firearm sounds do not have a set pattern and are random whereas gunshots have a set pattern; this certainly makes fireworks different from gunshots.

With the advancement of technology, police officers are now more confident in dealing with sounds that feel like gunshots. They use shot spotter, which is a machine working on the principles of acoustics and separates all sounds, to let the listener know the exact source of a sound. This allows a police officer to know easily if the sound is that of a gunshot and not fireworks and vice versa. This means a lot of effort and time that is wasted in reaching the spot of sound can now be saved by using shot spotter.


What is the difference between Gunshots and Fireworks?

• Gunshots have a flatter sound and do not have several echoes like fireworks.

• Fireworks start with a whistling sound and then produce a pop sound.

• Fireworks do not follow a pattern whereas there are fewer gunshots but with regular or set pattern.