Fourth of July is now just a month away, but before you decide how to celebrate your Independence Day you might want to double check that fireworks are legal to use where you live.
The majority of our local cities do not permit any use of fireworks by the public.
Fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition that if mishandled could quickly end in painful injury. Port Hueneme Police Chief Andrew Salinas says each year they receive hundreds of complaints regarding illegal fireworks on the fourth of july.
“People are unaware of the different consequences that fireworks can have. They are dangerous in nature so people get hurt from them every year. The noise and lights that they create our pets are heavily affected by, as well as we live in a neighborhood that centers around a military installation so several of these veterans have retired in our communities. We have people that suffer from PTSD and here we are to celebrate our American anniversary and we have our veterans being severely affected by fireworks,” said Chief Salinas.
This year the Port Hueneme Police Department will use several strategies to discourage illegal firework use. They include education, enforcement, and a new firework tip-line service.
“We are trying a different approach here. We are asking people to contact us before the Fourth of July and report residents and locations where fireworks are being used. So that we in turn can make contact with those residents and give them a warning and let them know are stance on fireworks,” said Salinas.
While some residents applaud the increased enforcement, others weren’t too happy with how strict the majority of our local cities are when it comes to fireworks use.
“I’m usually not in favor of calling the police on my neighbors, but I don’t think that is a good idea for them to be doing fireworks and if I object to that then I would probably go talk to them but they probably would not be receptive to that,” said Steve Crosby of Santa Barbara.
“I think it might be a little too strict,” said Chris Lucio of Port Hueneme.
“The little ones [fireworks] that is nothing. The big ones that is something you need a license for, I think. You need to know what you are doing, and be in a safe area,” said Savannah Buchannan of Camarillo.
To some fireworks may seam like innocent fun but if you get caught they come with a hefty price.
“Not only can you get a ticket with a thousand dollar fine you could face up to six months in jail or both for that matter,” said Salinas.
The cities where you can set off safe and sane fireworks legally are Fillmore, Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Lompoc.
No matter where you live local officials say the best way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July is at a professional show being put on in your area.
For the citizens of Port Hueneme, professional fireworks will be set off from the Channel Islands Harbor on July 4th at 9:00 p.m.
To report illegal fireworks in the city of Port Hueneme you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 986- 6539. Police say your information will remain confidential.