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    Gunshots or fireworks: Here's how to tell the difference

    Was that gunshots or fireworks? Here's what you need to know to tell the difference between gunshots and fireworks, and when to call the police.

    4TH OF JULY

    Gunshots or fireworks: Here's how to tell the difference

    By Janell Harris SHARE TWEET EMAIL EMBED <>MORE VIDEOS

    Was that fireworks or gunshots? Here's what you need to know to tell the difference.

    RICHMOND, Calif. -- Pop-pop-pop, a thunderous boom, or 30 seconds of rapid-fire cracks, but can you tell if it's gunshots or fireworks?

    Hopefully, you'll never find yourself asking this question. Being able to quickly distinguish gunshots from fireworks and react fast is just one more skill to keep you safe.

    We spoke with Alicia Moore, who works with the Richmond Police Department's Public Information Office, to learn how to distinguish the difference between fireworks and gunshots.

    Gunshots

    "Gunshots are very crisp and they have a certain timing or cadence to them."

    Fireworks

    "Fireworks are very loud, just like gunfire, but they are very sporadic. There is a lot of crackling, sometimes they echo and sometimes there is a whistle before the fireworks. You can see that it sounds kind of similar. If you close your eyes and imagine seeing beautiful fireworks, usually you can tell based on just the cadence alone."

    If you are still not sure if what you heard was gunshots or fireworks, Moore advises you call 911 and let police know you think you heard gunshots.

    VIDEO: Why do we set off fireworks on July 4th?

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    AccuWeather dives into the history of fireworks on July 4th.

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    RELATED TOPICS:

    richmondsan franciscosan mateosan josemarinsafety4th of julygun safetygun violencerichmondu.s. & worldabc7 originalspolicefireworksguns

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    Difference Between Gunshots and Fireworks

    Difference Between Gunshots and Fireworks Gunshots vs Fireworks When one refers to the difference between gunshots and fireworks, the reference is towards the difference in their sounds. Gunshots and fireworks sound very similar, and it is very difficult for an inexperienced person to differentiate between the sounds of the two. Even experienced cops and other people who have heard and

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    Difference Between Gunshots and Fireworks

    • Categorized under Words | Difference Between Gunshots and Fireworks

    Gunshots vs Fireworks

    When one refers to the difference between gunshots and fireworks, the reference is towards the difference in their sounds. Gunshots and fireworks sound very similar, and it is very difficult for an inexperienced person to differentiate between the sounds of the two. Even experienced cops and other people who have heard and are aware of the sounds of both on a daily basis are sometimes unable to identify the sound difference. People try to use common sense when it comes to identifying the sounds, but it is not always the most advisable method.

    Experience with both fireworks and gunshots can be identified by people like cops. The sound of a gunshot is not always the same; it differs according to the type of gun, length of barrel, use of a silencer, shell size, and many other things. The sound of fireworks depends upon the size and the type of firework. Usually, fireworks make a popping sound and then another “pop” sound when the “shell” detonates and the bright display takes place. Cops say that the gunshot has a flatter sound, and the echoes are fewer than with fireworks. Gunshots have more of a “boom” sound whereas the fireworks have more of a “pop pop” sound. The fireworks also have a whistling sound when they soar into the sky just before bursting. Gunshots are also identified by experienced ears by their pattern. Fireworks are random, and multiple gunshots have a regular pattern.

    If we consider only cops and their technology and not civilians, then things like SkyWatch Tower and ShotSpotters have been developed for the safety of a large crowd. A SkyWatch Tower is 50 feet high, and a single officer can monitor the whole crowd. Infrared technology is used to see in the dark, and it also helps in picking up muzzle flashes from gunshots. If there is any incident, the officer can alert the ground troops and direct the crowd with a loudspeaker.

    A ShotSpotter uses Acoustic Incident Classification technology which uses a network of algorithms, decades of acquired data and analysis, and processing. It separates all the sounds and sends an audio to dispatchers to verify the sound. This is important because sometimes when a distant sound which sounds like gunshot is heard by cops but verified as “not a gunshot,” it saves precious time and energy for the cops in reaching the location. ShotSpotters are sometimes used to find the locations of illegal fireworks too.

    Summary:

    1.According to experienced ears, the sound of a gunshot is not always the same. It differs according to the type of gun, length of barrel, use of a silencer, shell size, and many other things; fireworks depends upon the size and the type of firework.

    2.Cops say that a gunshot has a flatter sound and the echoes are fewer than with fireworks. The gunshots have more of a “boom” sound whereas the fireworks have more of a “pop pop” sound.

    3.Gunshots are also identified by experienced ears by their pattern; fireworks are random, and multiple gunshots have a regular pattern.

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    CiteAPA 7

    Kaushik, N. (2011, November 21). Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects. http://www.differencebetween.net/language/words-language/difference-between-gunshots-and-fireworks/.

    MLA 8

    Kaushik, Nimisha. "Difference Between Gunshots and Fireworks." 21 November, 2011, http://www.differencebetween.net/language/words-language/difference-between-gunshots-and-fireworks/.

    Leave a Response

    Written by : Nimisha Kaushik. and updated on 2011, November 21

    Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

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    How to tell the difference between gunshots and fireworks

    As there's an uptick in violence locally, Newport News is still the only city in Virginia with the ShotSpotter technology.

    How to tell the difference between gunshots and fireworks

    By: Erin Miller

    Posted at 4:47 PM, Jul 02, 2021 and last updated 1:37 AM, Jul 03, 2021

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A local city is armed to pinpoint the exact location a gun is fired.

    "ShotSpotter triangulates it right to where the shots were last fired, so we're able to go to those [crime] scenes much more quickly than somebody picking up the phone and calling 911," said Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew.

    As there's an uptick in violence locally, Newport News is still the only city in Virginia with the ShotSpotter technology.

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    ShotSpotter is a series of sensors placed around the city that measure gun shots and use top-of-the-line technology to find the exact location of a shooting. The company said their technology is so advanced it can even detect the caliber of gun being used.

    Chief Drew emphasized, saying, "It's so sophisticated that it can give you a very strong indicator of the type of firearm and type of round used."

    Chief Drew said in the few years since they've had the technology installed on the south side, it's helped his department respond better, especially on holiday weekends like the Fourth of July when lots of loud bangs will fill the air.

    The system is able to distinguish between what's a gunshot and what's just fireworks, but not everyone can. In fact, many people take to social media and neighborhood community apps to ask, "Were those gunshots or fireworks?"

    Heading into the weekend, with recorded audio from ShotSpotter, News 3 wanted to provide viewers with the opportunity to hear the difference between:

    Multi-round gunfire incident

    30 Rounds, full automatic

    Firework sound

    Ron Teachman, director of Public Safety Solutions at ShotSpotter, said, "There are a couple of things that are unique about fireworks - you might hear a whistle; you might hear 'tsss,' but this is why ShotSpotter is so important because we can determine the difference. If the police know what among all those bangs, booms and pops is gunfire, then they can allocate those resources appropriately."

    He said in addition to the technology processing the sounds, trained acoustic technicians also go through a number of steps to verify the "pop."

    Chef Drew said even if you can't tell whether it's gunfire or sparklers, call it in.

    "If you hear something and you’re not sure, go ahead and call and let us drive through the neighborhood to make sure it’s okay," he said.

    Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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