Fourth of July is a time for celebration, but the city of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County and public safety officials are urging residents to engage in festivities responsibly and refrain from the use of illegal fireworks.
To educate residents about the dangers of fireworks, the Santa Clarita City Council, along with county 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, county Fire Chief Daryl Osby, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Justin Diez and the Grossman Burn Center will be hosting a multi-agency fireworks safety press conference on Monday, June 27, at 9:30 a.m. at L.A. County Fire Department Station 126, located at 26320 Citrus St.
“California is currently seeing one of the worst droughts in history, which directly impacts not only our residents but the beautiful mountains and hills that surround our city,” says Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste. “Any type of firework, whether it’s a small sparkler or a large shower, poses an imminent threat to our community.”
Barger emphasized that keeping the community safe during the Fourth of July holiday takes partnership with the local residents. “Preventing fires and injuries during this patriotic holiday is within our reach,” Barger said. “All it takes is commitment from every family and household to be mindful when it comes to firework safety. Our county has world-class first responders to help us in our time of need, but I’m hopeful that the close-knit community of Santa Clarita will practice fireworks safety to avoid injuries and prevent emergencies.”
According to the county Fire Department, every year fireworks cause thousands of injuries and start more than 1,600 fires. Fireworks can cause burns, loss of limbs and even death.
“Each year, we see the extreme danger fireworks pose to our city,” said Assistant Fire Chief Nick Berkuta. “As first responders, it is our job to educate our residents about the reality of lighting fireworks. Not only can they start massive brush fires, but they can also cause injuries and in severe instances, you can lose a limb or your life.”
In the city of Santa Clarita, it is illegal to possess, sell or use fireworks, including those that are labeled “Safe and Sane,” such as sparklers, snaps, smoke balls and any item that explodes.
“Leading up to the Fourth of July and on the day of, our deputies will cite anyone they see setting off fireworks,” said Diez. “We are urging everyone to leave any pyrotechnics or firework shows to the professionals. All fireworks are illegal in the city of Santa Clarita as well as the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, and we want to make sure that residents don’t cause any accidental fires or injuries.”
In Santa Clarita, fireworks are a violation of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, Health and Safety Code and Los Angeles County Fire Code. The public is encouraged to report illegal fireworks anonymously by calling the SCV Sheriff’s Station at 661-260-4000. Residents can also report illegal fireworks using the city’s online Resident Service Center. Entering information into the Resident Service Center will not result in an immediate response from the Sheriff’s Department. Instead, this information will be used for future enforcement action and document use throughout the city.
Additionally, residents have the chance to earn $500 for reporting illegal firework use to the SCV Sheriff’s Station. To learn more about the program, visit santa-clarita.com/Fireworks. Residents are asked not to dial 9-1-1 to report illegal fireworks unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
“Fireworks are not only beautiful but incredibly loud. While this may be exciting to many, you may have a neighbor who is a veteran that has post-traumatic stress disorder, or someone who develops anxiety from the sound,” says Weste. “We also cannot forget about the impact fireworks have on our pets, whether they are dogs, cats, horses or birds. The day after the Fourth of July is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters due to the many frightened animals that run away from home.”
The city encourages residents to attend the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show. As in years past, the show will take place at Westfield Valencia Town Center and start at 9:15 p.m.
For more information on local professional fireworks shows in and near the SCV or details regarding fireworks regulations, visit santa-clarita.com/Fireworks.