Edinburgh councillors are to commission a report into the impact of noise from firework displays and consider whether silent pyrotechnics could be used instead.
The move came after complaints from a number of the city’s residents about the noise levels.
The capital sees a number of annual high-profile fireworks displays ranging from the Hogmanay fireworks over Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill at midnight to the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert at the end of the Edinburgh International Festival and during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August.
However, organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said fireworks were a “signature element of an event”.
Joanna Mowat, Conservative councillor for the city centre ward, said: “I am delighted my motion calling for a report into the impact of fireworks on the residents, pets and buildings and the city has been accepted.
“This is an opportunity to look carefully at this issue and investigate whether new technology can reduce the noise but keep the spectacle, which could make life a little quieter for residents of the city, protecting the high level of amenity for residents of Edinburgh.”
The proposals recognised that the fireworks “add excitement, colour and gaiety to celebrations in Edinburgh but that there is an impact from these regular fireworks on the residents living close to the launch sites and there are concerns the increasing scale of such may be having adverse impacts”.
It calls for an investigation into the noise impact on residents and animals, an examination of possible damage to buildings from the vibrations from large pyrotechnic displays, and the consideration of options such as silent fireworks. The report is due early next year.
Penny Dougherty, director of Unique Events, which produces Edinburgh’s Hogmanay for the council, said: “The Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fireworks are the signature element of an event bringing in 150,000 visitors from around the world, generating over £42 million for Edinburgh.
“Firework displays are a key part of every major New Year celebration worldwide, and Edinburgh holds its own with cities such as London, Sydney, Dubai and Rio de Janiero at midnight on 31 December.
“We work closely with our pyrotechnic company, Titanium, one of the world’s leading fireworks design companies, and all other agencies to deliver displays that are safe and enjoyable for those watching not only in Edinburgh but for up to 30 miles around the city.
“We announce all our firework displays well in advance, through our marketing and social media campaigns and advise pet owners in the city and within earshot of the castle, to keep their animals indoors at these times.”