Across the Area

Cities crack down on illegal fireworks

AN EXHIBIT of illegal fireworks seized in Garden Grove (GGFD photo).

Do you like to see things explode or hear things go BOOM! If you’re in Stanton, that amusement could cost you up to $80,000.

Interested in the idea of being humiliated in front of your neighbors? Use illegal fireworks at your block party in Garden Grove and get fined $1000.  Possess or discharge the unlawful pyrotechnics in Westminster and get tapped for $1000 as well. In Huntington Beach the fine is $500.

Area cities are cracking down especially hard for the Independence Day observances this year, ramping up on financial penalties and increasing the personnel deployed for enforcement.

Here’s a rundown on what’s happening this July in Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster. Remember, illegal fireworks – that is, the stuff that doesn’t have the State Fire Marshall’s seal on it, and especially anything that flies in the air – are illegal in all cities in Orange County.

Garden Grove

“Safe and sane” fireworks can only be legally sold in the Big Strawberry from July 1 to 4. Hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 1 to 3, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4.

Violators can be fined $1000, and the GGPD issued 47 such citations in 2017. This year enforcement will be stepped up with more firefighters, fire investigators and police patrols. All authorized block parties will be inspected for illegal fireworks.

Fireworks can lawfully be discharged only on private property with the consent of the property owner. That means not on streets or sidewalks or in parks or school grounds.

You can report violations at (714) 741-5704. Be prepared to provide the address of the incidents and a description of the person(s) involved.

Huntington Beach

In Surf City, the sale of legal fireworks is allowed July 1-3 from 12-10 p.m. and on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Discharge of those fireworks are only allowed from 12-10 p.m. on July 4.

In addition to the usual ban on the location of discharge, Huntington Beach’s prohibitions also apply to beaches and wetlands and within 10 feet of any home or other structure, or oil wells. The same applies to within 300 feet of a fireworks stand or within 100 feet of a gasoline station.

One thing that Huntington Beach has that other cities don’t is a fireworks show in conjunction with its July 4 celebration. For more, go to


This city of 40,000 people is leading the way in its efforts to keep the holiday safe and sane. The cost of illegal fireworks starts at $1000 per fine and goes all the way up to $80,000.

Residents can report in-progress illegal fireworks use to (714) 889-7866. Signs are available for posting on your lawn reading “Celebrate the Fourth of July: Say No to Illegal Fireworks,” and listing the fine amounts.


The All-American City bans the use of toy cap pistols, caps and carbide cannons. No one under the age of 16 may purchase the “Safe and Sane” fireworks, nor may they discharge them without an adult present. It’s legal to fire off your fireworks on a residential street, but not on arterial (major) streets.

Sale of legal fireworks is allowed only June 30 to July 3 from 10 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4. Discharging them is only legal on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


1 reply »

  1. It’s funny because all of my neighbors like to hear things go boom too and they all participate in our National holiday in festive style as I do. So really it’s not bothering anyone and I believe that the cities are trying to exercise a little too much control. But opinions are like a–holes aren’t they?

Leave a Reply