Communities Warn Against Illegal Fireworks this Fourth of July
By edhat staff
Fire Departments and City Officials warn against illegal fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.
The Fire Chiefs Association of Santa Barbara County reminds the public that all fireworks, including the so-called “safe and sane“ variety, are illegal in all areas of Santa Barbara County. However, Lompoc and Santa Maria have local rules regarding fireworks within their jurisdiction.
Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using legal and illegal fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks- devastating burns, injuries, fires and even death can occur, the Fire Chiefs Association reports.
It's recommended that the best way to view fireworks is to attend one of the public fireworks displays conducted by professional pyro technicians. Legal and illegal fireworks put us all at risk because they can easily lead to fires. Especially during our current dry, high fire season conditions.
The City of Goleta is released a video message featuring Goleta’s Mayor Paula Perotte, Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig and Goleta Chief of Police Services, Lt. Rich Brittingham urging community members to celebrate Independence Day without illegal fireworks.
To report illegal fireworks, call the non-emergency dispatch line at 805-683-2724.
CAL FIRE reports State Fire Marshal’s specialized Arson and Bomb Investigators have been providing intelligence and support to local and federal illegal fireworks enforcement efforts over the past few months. These operations have seized tens of thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks.
“Fire conditions are elevated, and the 4th of July, along with the use of fireworks, only increases the risk for wildfires,” said Chief Joe Tyler, CAL FIRE Director and Fire Chief. “It is critical that Californians be vigilant and consider leaving the fireworks to the professionals.”
It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess or use fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year. Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.
Illegal fireworks include:
- Bottle rockets
- Roman candles
- Aerial shells
- Other fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner
“Already this year our Arson and Bomb Investigators and Law Enforcement Officers have been busy assisting with numerous illegal fireworks enforcement operations,” said Chief Mike Richwine, California State Fire Marshal. “We have a zero-tolerance stance toward the use, possession, and transportation of illegal fireworks. Even ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks are banned in many communities and bring stiff fines for their illegal use.”
CAL FIRE is offering the public the following fireworks precautions:
- If using “Safe and Sane Fireworks, first check they are allowed in the area of use.
- Make sure the firework has the State Fire Marshal “Safe and Sane” seal on it.
- Have a bucket of water and garden hose available at firing site. During this drought it is recommend you use a bucket of gray/reused water to submerse your firework after its used to fully extinguish it.
- Read all instructions before use.
- Never alter, modify, or enhance fireworks – use only in the manner intended.
- Make sure fireworks have proper clearance from flammable materials including dry grass and brush.
To learn more about fireworks safety, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org/more/fireworks-safety/