Fireworks Safety Tips

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Independence Day still seems like a way’s off, but there are people who are already gearing up for the day that will be filled with BBQ food, drinks, and fireworks. Those are three essentials to almost every 4th of July party and you can bet people are already starting to make plans with friends and family in regards to who is hosting and bringing what. If you are the one bringing the fireworks, make sure you bring fireworks that are legal and that you use them safely.

  • Purchase fireworks that are categorized only as “safe and sane” not “dangerous” from a permitted fireworks vendor. These fireworks will have the Fire Marshal’s seal stamped on them.
  • Keep fireworks stored away from fire sources and other flammable material.
  • When you are ready to use the fireworks, have a bucket of water and/ or a hose nearby, just in case.
  • Read and follow the directions as they are written on the fireworks.
  • If youths are using fireworks, make sure adults are nearby.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only, away from fire sources, dry grass, and other flammable material.
  • Make sure there no one is too close when the fireworks are being lit. Do not point them at people, property, trees, power poles, etc.
  • If you find that one of your fireworks is broken, throw it away rather than trying to fix it.
  • Tight fitting clothing is preferred for the people who are going to light the fireworks. Loose clothing can get in the way, potentially catching fire.
  • Fireworks are not toys, and must be handled with care and caution. They should only be used by those who understand the safety rules and will abide by them.
  • For any damages or injuries done from fireworks used by children, the burden falls on the parents.

Anyone found violating the rules and regulations for fireworks usage such as purchasing and using dangerous fireworks, inflicting damage or injury, or storing them in unsafe conditions, will be fined and could face jail time. Of course, the punishment depends on the severity of the violation.

If you do not want to risk using fireworks at your home, or even that of your friend’s, you can always bring the family to the local fireworks show that is organized by the city and the licensed fireworks operators.

Either way, whether you plan on playing with safe and sane fireworks on your own, or just leaving it to the official fireworks show for the community, we encourage all to have a fun and safe 4th of July celebration.

The Rules of Fireworks

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For anyone who is starting to plan their July 4 activities, do not forget the fireworks! It is always great watching the big fireworks show that is planned for the general public, but at some point you get tired of going early to find parking and snag a good spot. Besides, this year, your friend is hosting a party and you do not want to miss it. This party still needs fireworks because what is a 4th of July celebration without them? If you plan on bringing some fireworks to your friend’s party, make sure you know what is and is not allowed. The last thing you want is for somebody to get hurt and the police to shut you guys down.

Fireworks are categorized as either “dangerous fireworks” or “safe and sane fireworks.”

Dangerous Fireworks
In order to purchase and use dangerous fireworks, you must have a special license. Basically, the general public cannot purchase dangerous fireworks. Those who put on the official fireworks show for the general public can. These individuals have that special display license needed. Plus, purchasers with the special display license must be at least 18 years old.

Safe and Sane Fireworks
The general public can purchase safe and sane fireworks, but only from licensed sellers and only between June 28 and July 6 each year. Anyone who wishes to purchase any safe and sane fireworks must be at least 16 years old.

There are penalties if someone disobeys any firework laws in California. They include up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Most violations are classified as a misdemeanor, but charges can increase to a felony if it involves dangerous fireworks and/ or an incident occurred that caused injury or even death. Felonies are punishable with more time in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, not to mention whatever you would need to pay for medical bills and legal fees.

In order to avoid accidents caused by fireworks, there are certain practices to follow. For example, legally purchased safe and sane fireworks should be used outdoors and away from trees and bushes that can catch fire. They should also be used away from sources of gas and other flammable items and materials. Responsible and mature individuals should be the ones using them, and children need to be supervised. Fireworks come with safety instructions so make sure to read those carefully.

California counties may have additional fireworks laws that differ from each other so make sure you understand what is and is not allowed where you are. Fireworks are a spectacle that everyone wants to enjoy. It would be awful to be the one to ruin the fun, so educate yourself so everyone can share in the fun.