LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Despite historic drought and the risk of wildfires, there are still hundreds of California cities that allow residents to set off “safe and healthy fireworks,” including dozens in California County. Los Angeles.
For thousands of nonprofits ranging from little league teams to high school booster clubs, the sale of fireworks each summer is the number one source of fundraising in California. But in the sweltering California summer, a single stray spark can ignite a massive wildfire. The National Fire Protection Association recently reported that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year.
In California, 296 communities allow fireworks authorized by the state fire marshal, known colloquially as “safe and healthy fireworks.” In these cities, local nonprofits will sell the fireworks from June 28 through July 6, although some cities may limit this to shorter time windows.
Individual cities have different rules regarding the legality of fireworks. In Los Angeles County, “safe and healthy” fireworks are permitted in the following cities:
- Baldwin Park
- Hawaiian gardens
- Huntington Park
- The Mirada
- The Puente
- Monterey Park
- Pico Rivera
- Santa Fe Springs
- South El Monte
- south gate
- city of temples
“Safe and healthy” fireworks are usually benign sparklers, but they’re usually more defined by what they aren’t than what they are. They are any type that the Fire Marshal does not classify as “hazardous” and all display an official Fire Marshal’s seal of approval. To be declared “safe and sane”, fireworks:
- Cannot explode or fly through the air
- Cannot contain arsenic sulphide, chlorates, magnesium and many other chemicals.
- Cannot exceed 10 inches in length or a quarter inch in diameter.
Illegal fireworks include flares, bottle rockets, aerial missiles and propellers, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and more.
Across California, penalties for selling, possessing or transporting illegal fireworks that don’t bear an official seal can reach $50,000 and include up to a year in prison, according to Daniel Berlant, deputy director. from Cal Fire, Community Wildlife Preparedness and Mitigation. Many California cities are slapping multiple multi-thousand dollar misdemeanor citations to anyone who even owns state-approved fireworks.
Most major cities in California have fireworks bans, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, all of San Diego County, all of San Mateo County, and San Jose. Surprisingly enough, approved fireworks are allowed in Sacramento.
While many other California cities ban all fireworks, there are still several that allow them. See here for the latest list of cities that sell them.
Some safety tips for CalFire fireworks:
- Use only fireworks approved by the State Fire Marshal
- Local ordinances should be checked before purchasing and/or using fireworks
- Always read the instructions
- Always have an adult present
- Use fireworks outdoors only
- Never use near dry grass or other flammable materials
- Light one at a time
- Have a bucket of water and a hose handy
- Although common sense may apply in most of these cases, CalFire offers the following suggestions to avoid injury to yourself or others.
Safety Tips for Injury Prevention:
- Never place any part of your body directly over a pyrotechnic device when lighting the fuse
- Step back several feet immediately after lighting a firework
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Never experiment with fireworks
- Never attempt to relight or “fix” fireworks
- Do not wear loose clothing
- Never carry fireworks in your pockets