I have to disagree. Todays fireworks are more dangerous. We've had 2 or 3 of those big shooter boxes explode out the side of the box shooting flaming balls out horizontally. And, these 'slow' burning balls land on houses and burn.
I think sky rockets may have been safer than the souped up bangers they sell today.
Next, you say this is a few nights a year. But, going by the last 2 or 3 years we could have fireworks going off at all hours during the weekends for the next 6 months or more.
Maybe I could live with fireworks over guy fawkes/new years eve. But, every weekend?
I don't believe today's fireworks are more dangerous than they used to be, at least from a purely operational perspective. If anything, they are safer.
The compositions used however, are more energetic, and therefore louder with increased potential to cause damage when things go wrong. This is likely due to the limitations on powder content we have, and sourcing of products in a more competitive market. You can still buy crap fireworks like we've always had (minus the crackers and rockets), but those $5 each fireworks are a noticeable step up in quality.