Fireworks are a nice way to mark celebrations like Diwali, 4th of July, New Year Eve, and other similar festivals. However, the noise can be very upsetting if you’re trying to get some rest. Fortunately, you can keep the sounds out by soundproofing the room.
Here’s how to soundproof a room from fireworks:
- Install weather stripping and door sweep.
- Attach more mass to the door.
- Buy some soundproofing curtains.
- Seal up the windows.
- Insulate your walls and ceiling with sound dampeners.
- Introduce some white noise.
- Install a new layer of drywall.
In the rest of this article, I’ll cover each of these steps in further detail. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet night’s sleep on even the most firework-filled night in your neighborhood!
1. Install Weather Stripping and Door Sweep
Your bedroom door is a major loophole for sounds. Even when you’ve shut the door, sound can get in through cracks underneath or around the perimeter. Installing a good door sweep can help keep out the firework sounds coming in from under the space between the floor and the door.
The Holikme Twin Door Draft Stopper (available on Amazon.com) is a good option here. You can easily slide it under the gap to block off both sides of the door.
You should combine the door sweep with a weather stripping seal. Trim-Lok D-Shaped Rubber Seal (Thick Wall) (available on Amazon.com) is a good example. It’s made of EPDM foam rubber, ensuring a strong seal when used. You can use the seals around the perimeter of the door. Make sure to focus on the top side since the door sweep has blocked off the lower side.
2. Attach More Mass to the Door
If your room door is outside facing, you need to spend as much time as possible beefing up the door. People whose rooms have other types of doors can skip this step.
Keep in mind that if your room door has a hollow core, weatherstripping seals and draft stoppers can only do so much. Ideally, you should buy and install a solid wood door, but the cost is prohibitive for most people.
The alternative is to beef out your hollow door as much as you can. While methods to beef up your door aren’t always the most aesthetic, they are also undoubtedly effective. Some options include:
- A sheet of drywall
- Fiberglass panel
- Weighted blanket
- MDF boards
- Studio foam
Any of those options will make your door thicker instantly, stopping fireworks sounds from leaking in. If you use MDF boards, drywall, or fiberglass panels, you can paint them over to give a cleaner look and ensure the door doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb in your interior décor.
3. Seal Up the Windows
If your windows are double glazed and always closed when the fireworks start, they are unlikely to be the conduit for the sound. However, if you can feel some air through the windows when they’re closed, you’re better off going the extra mile on them with some weatherstripping material.
The smallest bit of air coming through the window will bring in the fireworks sound with it. Weatherstripping the window will keep out sound and also ensure you don’t have to worry about a draft.
4. Buy Some Soundproofing Curtains
You’ve probably never heard of soundproof curtains, but they exist and work. These curtains are designed to block out both sound and light. They look as good as any other curtains, they are simply considerably heavier. Installing these over a closed window featuring weatherstripping seals significantly reduces the probability of fireworks sounds entering your room.
The H.VERSAILTEX 100% Blackout Curtains and the NICETOWN 3 Pass Microfiber Noise Reducing Thermal Insulated Curtains (both available on Amazon.com) are good options you can go with here. They both have excellent sound deadening effects and are so easy to take care of.
5. Insulate Your Walls and Ceiling With Sound Dampeners
One of the surest ways to soundproof your room from fireworks and other similar sounds is to install some acoustic foam on the walls and your ceiling.
Also known as studio foam, this material is very thick and can reduce the vibrations from fireworks explosions from reaching you.
The one downside with such products is that they tend to look out of place in most rooms and can disrupt the look of your interior décor. However, if you can find a few good options that fit, they work great.
The Audiosoul 52 Pack Acoustic Foam (available on Amazon.com) is a popular choice. The panels can keep some sounds out, but they are best at keeping sounds inside the room. However, any material that can increase your wall mass can make your room less prone to noise.
The Noise Grabber Mass Loaded Vinyl with Closed Cell Foam (available on Amazon.com) is an alternative that doesn’t look as jarring. It’s easy to install and cut.
You can also use some thick blankets if you have them.
Some people buy some canvas artwork to hang around the room to absorb the fireworks noise. If you’ve installed some acoustic foam on the wall, you can hang art on top of the foam or create a hollow section for the artwork to fit into. It blocks off the noise and is also a great way to improve the aesthetic appeal of your space.
Acoustic foams can also work for your ceiling, but you can also pad it out with other heavy dampeners like ceiling clouds and loaded vinyl.
You should also buy some fuzzy area rugs for your floor if it’s made of hardwood. You can either throw the rug directly onto the floor or install some soundproof vinyl first. The Rainlin Fuzzy Abstract Area Rug (available on Amazon.com) is a good option you can go with here. If you want to line the floor with some vinyl, you can go with the Noise Grabber model mentioned above.
6. Introduce Some White Noise
It may sound counterintuitive, but you can use some white noise to drown out the sound of fireworks. The approach works best when the fireworks display isn’t happening too close to your home. White noise will deliver a consistent ambient sound that gives off a soothing effect and will help make the sudden noise of fireworks displays will feel less jarring.
You don’t need to buy a white noise machine. You can simply download some white noise videos on YouTube and play them on a loop over your sound system.
Alternatively, you can turn on appliances you already have at home. A humidifier, a standing fan, and a window AC unit are just some examples of white noise sources.
You can also choose to opt for air purifiers. They serve the dual function of masking any unwanted noise and also cleaning the air. At high speeds, they can generate noise loud enough to distract you from crackling fireworks. The LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home (available on Amazon.com) is a good example of an air purifier with enough power to balance out sounds.
If you have a box fan, standing fan, or ceiling fan, you can also turn it on at the highest setting to drown out. A vacuum cleaner may also work depending on the type you’ve got. Robo options like the AIRROBO T9 Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo (available on Amazon.com) are powerful enough for these scenarios. You can control the T9 on your smartphone, so you can just turn it on and set it loose in the room when the fireworks start and turn it off after it all goes quiet.
White noise sources aren’t powerful enough to eliminate fireworks sounds. However, if you turn them on when the room has already had some sound insulation, you can enjoy near-perfect tranquility.
7. Install a New Layer of Drywall
This option is far more demanding than all others we’ve covered here. However, it’s the most permanent solution among the lot. If you have the DIY skills, you can install a new layer of drywall across the wall and ceiling.
The approach works because it involves adding extra mass to your existing structure. When installing the drywall, try to leave some cavity between the drywall layers. The extra space will trap more fireworks sound as it enters your room.
You should also consider using some green glue between the drywall layers for improved soundproofing. It works because the chemical composition converts sound energy to heat.
The Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound (available on Amazon.com) is easy to apply but has excellent sound absorption properties. Having it between your drywall layers will significantly improve their ability to keep out fireworks sounds. Apply as much as possible because higher volume delivers better results.
Installing a new layer of drywall is an inexpensive solution, and it’s easy to complete with a little bit of application. The one downside is that the drywall will reduce your room’s width by a few millimeters. However, this loss of space should be minor enough that you probably won’t notice.
A major challenge you’ll face in this process is the problem of modifying and extending your electrical outlets to bring them out to the new drywall again. You may need to enlist the help of an electrician at this stage of the process.
Is It Possible To Completely Soundproof a Room?
You can completely soundproof a room. However, it will require you to adopt an elaborate soundproofing approach that takes care of the sound source, entry point, and reflection point. In the case of soundproofing against fireworks, you can only realistically tackle the entry and reflection points.
Shoring up your doors and windows and padding out your walls, ceiling, and floor can reduce the sound from the fireworks to the barest minimum. Add a white noise source, and the fireworks will sound very faint. It won’t disrupt your sleep or startle other occupants in the room.
How Can I Stop a Fireworks Display?
You can’t stop fireworks displays unless they are illegal in your state. In the US, firework displays are legal in 46 states and Washington DC.
If the people setting off the displays are breaking the law where you live, you can report to the authorities to come and break up the party. Otherwise, you can only wait for the fireworks to stop.
You can consider speaking to your neighbors and asking that they round off their display quickly. However, keep in mind that this option may be counterproductive depending on the occasion.
Many people go overboard with their displays on national holidays or religious occasions. Attempting to stop the displays from going on around you may be misinterpreted as intolerance, especially if you have no previous rapport with the people setting off the firecrackers. Depending on your relationship with your neighbors, it can even cause a major conflict with repercussions that will last far beyond that day.
So, the best approach is to wait out the displays and hope your soundproofing can do a good job of limiting or eliminating the noise.
What Is the Most Affordable Way To Soundproof a Wall?
The most affordable way to soundproof a wall is to install thick quilts and blankets. However, this only works if you already own these items. If you have to buy materials, you can find better bargains on acoustic foam and loaded vinyl.
If you have some DIY skills, you can also buy drywall and green glue compound and put them up yourself. If you don’t have to demolish anything, the process shouldn’t set you back too much. A significant part of the expense goes towards paying a professional to get the job done. Saving that money makes the process a lot cheaper.
Is It Possible To Soundproof a Room for Free?
You can soundproof a room for free if you already have some noise dampening materials at home. Materials like thick curtains, blankets, and rugs can work well here. You can also use cardboard boxes held up with some masking tape.
Some people have had good results by moving around some heavy furniture. You can push bookshelves and upholstered chairs to shared walls. Bring in a few furniture pieces from your living room if you don’t have any in your bedroom. Hanging up thick wallpapers and blankets will also work reasonably well.
However, most of these free solutions can’t do the job alone. For proper soundproofing, you have to add real mass to your floors, ceilings, doors, and walls. You also need to keep your windows closed if they are double-glazed.
Is Room Soundproofing an Easy DIY Project?
Room soundproofing is an easy DIY project if you don’t need to go into elaborate drywall installations. If you only use vinyl, acoustic foam, and other such materials, it’s easy to complete the job without calling in a professional.
However, you may need extra help to move around furniture, install materials in your ceiling, hold materials for measurement, etc.
Why You Should Soundproof Against Fireworks
There are many reasons why you should soundproof your room against fireworks. They include the following:
Fireworks Affect Your Sleep
If you’ve been dealing with insomnia, fireworks can make your sleep problems worse. You can probably get by with a day of inadequate sleep, as would be the case for occasions like the 4th of July or New Year Eve. However, for religious festivals like Diwali, sleeping in a non-soundproofed room will make things difficult for up to five days.
Soundproofing your room against the noise ensures you won’t have to stay awake when people have reasons to roll out the fireworks boxes. You no longer have to go into work the next day grumpy from a lack of sleep.
They Can Startle Babies and Sick Adults
Powerful fireworks displays can be very distressing for babies and the elderly. The intermittent loud bangs can startle them and may result in an injury. A toddler startled from their sleep may instinctively dive out of bed in an attempt to reach safety. Adults with nervous conditions may experience a breakdown.
Putting such vulnerable members of your household in an adequately soundproof room during fireworks season can help you stave off risky episodes and possible hospital visits.
Fireworks Can Trigger PTSD, Anxiety, and Epileptic Attacks
Fireworks can sound very similar to gunfire, which means they are strongly linked to PTSD and are common triggers. Survivors of a mass shooting and military vets may break down in panic when powerful fireworks start to go off. In people with crippling anxiety, it can worsen the problem a great deal. People with epilepsy may experience seizures as well.
Soundproofing a room from fireworks displays can help limit the risk of any such episodes amongst vulnerable groups.
Fireworks Can Scare Animals
Fireworks frighten dogs and cats. During fireworks displays, dogs can injure people or themselves as they try to run away from the barrage of loud sounds. They may also knock over property and cause some damage.
If you have a soundproof room, you can bring your pets into the room to make the noise less jarring for them. Bringing them indoors also ensures they won’t run away or cause any damage.
Fireworks displays look great as they light up the sky, but the sounds can be a huge disturbance or health risk for some people.
If you’re in this group, soundproofing a room can help cushion the impact and reduce the noise from the explosions to the barest minimum. The goal when soundproofing your room should be to pad out your walls, door, floors, and ceiling.
Soundproofing the entire house would be ideal, but it’s not cost-efficient. By focusing on one room, you can create a safe space for people and animals in your home that find fireworks distressful.