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June 29, 2010 > Fireworks: a safe place to use them

Fireworks: a safe place to use them

By Fina Mora

Decades of tragic experience teach this lesson: fireworks are dangerous when used inappropriately. However, don't think that fireworks are safe just because they're legal. The largest share of fireworks injuries are caused by "safe and sane" fireworks. As Fourth of July approaches, only a select number of cities allow fireworks.

Please remember that the sale, possession, and citizen use of fireworks is banned within the cities of Fremont, Hayward, San Lorenzo, Milpitas and unincorporated areas of Alameda County. This ban includes all fireworks, even the "safe and sane" variety, legal in some other cities. Fire and Police resources will be on patrol to maintain active vigilance. Fireworks use in prohibited locations is subject to confiscation and citation or arrest.

MILPITAS:
Milpitas will host a concert by JamFunkShus begining at 7:30 p.m. and "Red, White & Boom" fireworks will light up the sky at 9:30 p.m. Space for concert and fireworks is limited; only the first 10,000 will be admitted. Picnic dinners are welcome, and some food will be available for purchase. There are no "in and out" privileges; alcohol, glass bottles, dogs or animals are not allowed at the event. No barbecuing or tailgating is allowed in the parking lot. For more information contact Parks and Recreation services at (408) 586-3210.

NEWARK:
Continuing its no tolerance policy on the use of illegal fireworks, only "Safe and Sane" fireworks can be used in the city. Safe and Sane fireworks can be identified with the State Fire Marshal's seal of approval imprinted on the packages. The City of Newark is one of a few cities which allow the use of Safe and Sane fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday season.

The hours between midnight June 30 and midnight July 4 are the only hours that fireworks can be used in residential areas. Use is restricted to residential areas only and requires permission of the property owner. Fireworks cannot be discharged in city parks or non-residential areas. All parks will close at 7:30 pm on July 4.

Anyone found in violation of laws related to the use of fireworks will be cited and charged with the appropriate violation. The City's fireworks hot line number is 1-866-520-SAFE (7233). Anyone wishing to report any illegal activity, including possession, use, or sale of illegal fireworks, is encouraged to call the hot line.

UNION CITY:
There is zero tolerance for illegal fireworks, only the use of legal fireworks is permitted. If fireworks go up in the air, dart across the ground or explode, it's dangerous and illegal. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, bottle rockets, M-80s, M-100s and cherry bombs. They are dangerous and are prohibited by both state and federal law.

Only "Safe and Sane" fireworks, purchased from authorized non-profit fireworks stands are allowed in Union City. On July 4th, legal fireworks may be discharged between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. All Union City parks will close at 7:30 p.m. on July 4th; no exceptions.

Due to the high fire danger in the foothills, all fireworks are banned in areas east of Mission Boulevard. Anyone using fireworks east of Mission Blvd. will be subject to citation or arrest.

Lighting fireworks in the middle of the street is unsafe and can prevent cars and emergency vehicles from getting through. Therefore, only use sidewalks and driveways is permitted to light fireworks. City ordinance requires written approval from the property owner if you intend to use safe and sane fireworks on property other than your own.

Those caught with illegal fireworks will be cited and may be fined up to $5,000. To report individuals using, possessing or selling illegal fireworks, please call the non-emergency police dispatch number at: (510) 471-1365.

Each year, many unwanted injuries and fires are attributed to fireworks. Fireworks can be extremely dangerous and cause bodily harm as well as extensive property damage from fire. Dispose of fireworks safely by delivering them to a local fire station. Enjoy the Fourth of July holiday and celebrate safely.

For a list of locations where fireworks are permitted in the State of California, visit: www.ca-fireworks.presskit247.com/content/content-article.asp?ArticleID=508

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