Safe and Sane Fireworks -Safety Tips

wpd and efd

Independence Day 2016 is rapidly approaching.  This is a time for great celebration in honor of our nation’s birthday, but we must remember to celebrate safely and responsibly.

The City of Watsonville will again be allowing the sales and use of ‘Safe and Sane” fireworks.  Although the discharge of these fireworks is legal, please know that they can be dangerous if not used properly.  In fact, 90% of emergency room fireworks injuries are caused by these ‘legal’ fireworks.  At highest risk of injury are school-aged children, so let’s make every effort to insure that our residents stay safe during this holiday period.

Recent years have shown the continued use of dangerous fireworks.  These illegal fireworks are the types that explode and/or leave the ground, and include firecrackers, M-80’s, bottle rockets, and mortars.  The Watsonville Police Department will again be taking a zero tolerance approach to these violations and will aggressively enforce all laws pertaining to these destructive, dangerous items.  In 2009, the City Council passed a strict fireworks ordinance (WMC 4-3.3302) and officers have been very successful in enforcing this law.  Over the last several years, officers have issued numerous citations for fireworks related offenses, with each violation carrying an administrative fine of $1,000.  Again, our officers and firefighters will be out in full force to insure compliance with all fireworks laws and to issue citations to anyone found in violation.

Fines will be a $1,000.00 per violation so be sure to know the rules:

  • It is illegal for any person under eighteen (18) years of age to discharge “Safe and Sane” fireworks.
  • Only adults (over 18 years of age) should light or hold the fireworks.
  • Do not light fireworks in or within 50 feet of any fireworks stand.
  • It is also unlawful to use these fireworks within ten (10) feet of any residence, dwelling or other structure.
  • Do not ignite, explode, project or use fireworks on, over, or onto property in a hazardous fire area. Hazardous fire areas will be determined and defined by the Fire Code Official and set forth in the fireworks discharge policies of the fire department.
  • Do not light, explode, project or use fireworks from midnight July 5 to midnight June 30.
  • It is unlawful for any person to possess or to ignite, explode, project, or otherwise fire or use, or permit the ignition, explosion or ignition of “dangerous fireworks”.

 Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Always use under adult supervision
  • Read and follow instructions
  • Always keep water nearby
  • NEVER light indoors use only OUTDOORS
  • Never try to make your own fireworks
  • Never relight fireworks that appear to have gone out
  • Only light one at a time
  • Never allow small children to go near fireworks
  • Store in a cool dry place
  • Never lean over top of fireworks to light them
  • Tie hair back, wear safety goggles and no loose fitting clothes
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

We both wish the community a very safe and Happy Fourth of July, David Honda, Watsonville Police Chief and Pablo Barreto, Watsonville Fire Chief.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 at 10:53 am and is filed under City of Watsonville, Fire Department, General Information, Homepage News, Police Department . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.