News Flash


Posted on: June 27, 2019

Fireworks Safety This 4th of July


The Fourth of July holiday is next week and since many District residents will be celebrating this weekend and next weekend, we wanted to take a moment to remind you about fireworks safety, areas where fireworks are prohibited, and how to report illegal fireworks.

Where Fireworks Are/Are Not Allowed:

City of Capitola: Safe and Sane fireworks are legal to use on private property ONLY.  All fireworks are illegal on public property in the City of Capitola.

Unincorporated Santa Cruz County: Fireworks of all kinds are ILLEGAL in the unincorporated portions of Santa Cruz County

Where to Buy Fireworks:

It is ILLEGAL to buy or sell fireworks in the County of Santa Cruz. Fireworks use and possession may subject violators to enhanced penalties.

Fireworks Safety:

If you do choose to celebrate with legal safe and sane fireworks in areas where they are permitted, we would like to remind you of a few guidelines for fireworks safety.  As with any matter, using your best judgement is always recommended.

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light fireworks indoors.
  • Never light fireworks in a location where sparks could come into contact with flammable materials, especially dry grass or other vegetation.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Disposing of Fireworks:

Although the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office does not generally receive fireworks for destruction, in the weeks prior to and after July 4th, they will have the means to receive fireworks for destruction.  You can contact them at (831) 454-7682 to inquire about disposing of fireworks.

Reporting Illegal Fireworks:

Every year, the 911 system gets hundreds of 911 calls for fireworks. Many of the callers provide vague information and can strain the 911 reporting system and do not contain enough information for patrol response. To be effective, dispatchers need accurate information.

Callers should be prepared to describe:

  • Specific location fireworks are being lit, not general areas of explosions.
  • Description of person(s) lighting the fireworks.
  • Specific dangers to property or people.

Please view this video from Santa Cruz Regional 9-1-1 on how to report illegal fireworks this Fourth of July:

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