Fourth of July Celebration

As our nation prepares to honor Independence Day, the North County Fire Authority wants to remind all that only “Safe and Sane” fireworks purchased at permitted locations designed within the City of Pacifica can be discharged during the Fourth of July celebration. NOTE: The City of Brisbane and City of Daly City do not allow or permit the use of fireworks and fines and penalties for the distribution and/or use of illegal fireworks have increased and will be enforced.

As in previous years the North County Fire Authority will be augmenting staffing on the July 4th holiday in preparation of potential emergencies. We need the public’s assistance in avoiding the use of illegal fireworks, which can cause fires, injury, death and may exceed or overwhelm emergency response resource capabilities.

Fourth of July celebrations are the cause of a great number of fires and burn injuries due to the misuse and mishandling of fireworks. Nationally, more than $40 million in property is damaged each year due to fireworks, as well hospitals across the nation report thousands of cases of burn injuries caused by fireworks. Additionally, most firework burn injuries involve children and are usually burns to the hands and eyes causing vision impairment and disfigurement.

The City of Pacifica allows legal, “Safe & Sane” fireworks for the July 4th holiday. However, the Pacifica City Council adopted an “Illegal Fireworks Social Host Ordinance” to curb rampant use of illegal fireworks and is designed to hold those hosting gatherings responsible for illegal firework activity. Further, the ordinance has strict liability, meaning the person owning or renting the property (the Social Host) is liable for the discharge of illegal fireworks regardless of involvement or knowledge. The ordinance also pertains to any person who hosts, organizes, supervises, officiates, conducts, or accepts responsibility for a gathering on public or private property. Additionally, if a minor is found discharging illegal fireworks, the person having care, custody or control of the minor is strictly liable for the illegal activity and subject to fine. The penalty for a violation of the “Illegal Fireworks Social Host Ordinance” is $1,000 and is levied as an administrative fine by the City of Pacifica.

The North County Fire Authority encourages everyone to follow all directions on “Safe and Sane” fireworks if utilized in the City of Pacifica, and to take the following safety precautions:

• Use only legal fireworks approved by the California State Fire Marshal.
• Inspect all fireworks. Never use damaged or leaking fireworks.
• Never give fireworks to a small child.

• Store fireworks in a cool and dry place.
• Ignite only a single firework at a time.
• Use a shovel to drop any malfunctioning or used fireworks into a pail of water.
• Keep spectators back a safe distance of at least 10 feet.
• Use fireworks in a clear area at least 20 feet away from a house, wood fence or brush.
• Ignite fireworks in a large, safe, level area of dirt, pavement or gravel at least 10 feet square in size.
• Keep an extra pail of water, charged garden hose or fire extinguisher at the ready.
• Do not point fireworks at anyone.
• If someone is injured or a fire is started, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Use only legal fireworks approved by the California State Fire Marshal.
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