Across the Area

Cities try to keep July 4 “safe and sane”

FIREWORKS like this – shot into the air – are illegal in Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster.

For some people, it’s a patriotic display of liberty. For others it’s matter of taking liberties with the law. Either way, Fourth of July week is upon us, with Thursday as official Independence Day and bright lights and loud noises the order of the day.

The sale and discharge of  “safe and sane” fireworks approved by the state fire marshal’s office is legal in Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster, as well as several other cities.

Possession or use of any other kind of fireworks – especially those that fly through the air – is illegal and carry with them the penalty of fines from $1000 to $8000 depending on the city. Arrest and jail time is also a possibility.

Here’s how local cities are responding to the “rocket’s red glare”:

Garden Grove: There will be an increased police and fire presence, with a special emphasis on “high-activity illegal fireworks areas” including Katella Street between Euclid Avenue and Brookhurst Street; Dino Circle; Garden Grove Park and the Buena Clinton neighborhood.

The city’s animal care services will have an on-call officer on Thursday. If a pet goes missing, call (714) 741-5565. All city parks will close by 5 p.m. on Thursday and sprinklers activated.

Discharge of any kind of fireworks on public property or the public right-of-way (parking lots, streets, sidewalks) is illegal without a permit. Administrative fines of $1000 can be issued. Seventy-one people were cited in 2018.

Huntington Beach: The discharge of fireworks is only permitted on July 4 from noon to 10 p.m. It’s illegal to ignite them at any beach, wetlands or public park, or on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway, or on any public property or within 10 feet of a home, oil well or gas station. The improper use of “safe and sane” fireworks is subject to a $500 citation.

Stanton:The use of anything but “safe and sane” fireworks is illegal in Stanton.  The discharge of illegal fireworks is a crime and punishable by fines of $1000 to $8000 per violation.

Westminster:  Lighting legal fireworks is legal only in this All-American City on the Fourth of July itself, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Keep fireworks at least 20 feet away from spectators. This is a “zero tolerance” city regarding illegal fireworks. Selling such materials is a felony, and possessing or discharging them carries a $1000 fine.

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