Fireworks are a unique sight to see. They can be witnessed on certain occasions every year such as 4th of July, and New Year’s. They can be seen more regularly at certain locations like at Disneyland and baseball stadiums. For the 2 big national holidays, private individuals are allowed to discharge fireworks on their own at their homes, provided the proper safety protocols are followed. California has very specific laws when it comes to fireworks, and consequences are enforced when the law is not followed.
There are two categories of fireworks: dangerous, and safe and sane. Dangerous fireworks cannot be sold to the public. These are generally the ones that are used during the large, public, holiday shows that are organized by licensed operators. Private individuals can purchase safe and sane fireworks from licensed retailers, but only between June 28 and July 6 each year. In addition, a person must be at least 16 years old in order to purchase safe and sane fireworks.
There are safety instructions on the package of fireworks. These instructions must be followed. Fireworks must be discharged outdoors only, and a safe distance away from other people and flammable items; have a bucket of water or a hose nearby. Only those who are old enough and responsible enough to safely handle the fireworks should be allowed to do so. By following these instructions, the possibilities of injury and damage are significantly reduced.
Anyone in violation of a firework law is subject to fines and possible jail time. For misdemeanors, it is a $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail. For felonies, like if someone was caught in possession of dangerous fireworks, the fine can be as high as $50,000 and the prison sentence can be as long as 3 years. If someone’s fireworks cause injury or damage, they can be sued and face additional charges that would increase the consequences.
4th of July is just weeks away and if you plan on using fireworks at your own party, rather than going out to view the public display, make sure you have the right fireworks and that they will be used safely. Being just a little bit more careful never hurts.