With most of California facing extreme drought conditions this summer, the Sacramento Fire Department is asking residents to be more careful than ever when celebrating July 4.
“The hot weather and low-moisture vegetation mixed with fireworks can be a real disaster for residents across the city,” said Sacramento Fire Marshal Jason Lee. “That’s why we’re asking residents to use extreme caution when operating legal fireworks and we’re reminding residents that shooting off illegal fireworks now can come with a hefty fine.”
Increased fines are one of several new enforcement tools the Sacramento City Council approved last month to curb illegal-fireworks use and protect neighborhoods.
Here’s how Sacramento is looking to curtail illegal fireworks use and prevent devastating fires in its neighborhoods:
- Increased fines: Fines for the use of illegal fireworks are $1,000 for the first violation, $2,500 for the second violation within the first year, and $5,000 for each additional violation within the year of the first violation.
- Host liability: Fines can be imposed on property owners or renters who allow illegal firework activity on their property.
- Limited times for “safe and sane” fireworks: These fireworks — which are not explosive, not aerially launched, and have been tested and approved by the state fire marshal — only can be discharged between noon and 11 p.m. June 28 and between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. June 29 through July 4. The sale of safe and sane fireworks are limited to June 28 through July 4 as well.
How to report illegal fireworks in the City of Sacramento
Residents reporting illegal fireworks should call the non-emergency fire number at 916-808-3473 (FIRE). They also can use a free online reporting smart-phone app called “Nail – ’em,” which is monitored by the Sacramento Fire Department.
Don’t forget about animal safety
Illegal fireworks have other consequences – for furry friends.
The days following the July 4 holiday are often the busiest of the year for animal shelters, City officials said, with fireworks causing desperate animals do whatever they can to escape the frightening sounds.
The Front Street Animal Shelter urges residents to ensure their pets are kept indoors at night in the weeks before and after July 4, even if they’ve never tried escaping the property before. An identification tag with phone and address as well as a microchip are also vital to getting a lost pet back home.