Friday, July 3, 2009

Fourth of July Safety Tips

As we begin the holiday weekend, we wanted to take a moment to remind you to have fun and stay safe out there. The Fourth of July is an exciting day all across America, with sun-baked parades and barbeques giving way to night skies lit up by fireworks. But it only takes one careless moment to spoil a good time.

With that in mind, the San Jose Police Department has released their tips for a safe and happy Independence Day celebration. We've included them here, along with the original press release.

Stay safe, and have a happy 4th!

City of San José Welcomes July 4th with Caution
Residents Urged to Celebrate Safely

The City of San José welcomes this upcoming July 4th on Saturday by encouraging safe celebrations and reminding residents that all fireworks are illegal in San José. The only legal use of fireworks allowed in the City is for a “pyrotechnic display,” operated by a Licensed Pyrotechnician, with a City Permit.

“We’re increasing our outreach to make certain San José residents understand not only that fireworks are illegal but why they are illegal,” says Fire Chief, Darryl Von Raesfeld. “This ban was added to the municipal code in the interest of public safety. Fireworks cause hundreds of severe injuries in the United States and ignite thousands of fires in California every year. With our current drought conditions the potential for a major fire incident is incredibly high.”

For many residents fireworks are considered an integral part of July 4th celebrations, along with other traditional community festivities. While fireworks are suitable for large scale events, they must be used under carefully controlled conditions. Groups planning to host a ‘pyrotechnic display’ should contact the Fire Prevention Bureau for permits with the understanding that only fully professional displays under very strict safety regulations will be permitted.

When most residents think of fireworks they think of large bottle rockets, roman candles, and firecrackers. However, the ban includes the popular ‘sparklers,’ usually reserved for younger children.

“Sparklers can reach over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit,” says San José Fire Marshal & Deputy Fire Chief, David Schoonover. “They account for 50% of fireworks-related injuries to children under age five and 10% of fireworks-related injuries overall.” For residents who’d like to observe the tradition, ‘snappers’ and ‘champagne party poppers’ are not considered fireworks and deemed legal for use in San José.

The penalty for violating the fireworks ban is stiff. Any individual who possesses, stores, sells, or uses any materials deemed fireworks, is in violation of the law and subject to arrest. Violation of these laws can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail time according to California Fire Code (CFC 7802.3) and the San José Municipal Code (SJMC 17.12.730). For more information on the laws, regulations and rules regarding fireworks in the City of San José call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (408) 535-7750.

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  1. Funny how the city works. The vietanmese celebrate the New Year with firecrackers. I saw the use of them. No city response. What did we get from the City of San Jose. A cancel notice for the 4th of July fireworks. Maybe I shouldn't pick on the 4th of July with the city. We need to make sure they give the other festivals money so we can all feel good about ourselves. Wake UP Mr Mayor and City Council. All peoples enjoy fireworks shot above the city!

  2. Christian/KathleenJuly 4, 2009 at 11:14 AM


  3. I didn't need to find a place to see fireworks on 4th of July. I live on Woodard and every year these idiots use a real rocket launcher to put on their own show. Between Farnham School, Hogue Park, and the Catholic Church down the street, we had plenty of fireworks to worry about setting houses on fire. I called the Cops and no one came. WHY?

  4. I have an idea. Since the City Council and Mayor decided to pick on the 4th of July with a budget problem, let's start a new trend. We should put a stop on all festivals. We need an immediate notice sent to all organizers in the city. NO MORE FESTIVALS. We need to conserve resources and money. Once the city begins to bounce back, we can take a look at the events. I know for a FACT the GI Forum has never re-paid the city for one single Cinco De Mayo festival. Between the city cops and fire response the cost is off the charts. READ MY LIPS. "NO MORE FESTIVALS"

  5. Maybe the city cut the 4th of July because they knew it wouldn't offend anyone. After all the only people who would be offended could only be Military, Public Safety, Tax paying Americans who don't have the time to complain to the city. Where is that bug dude when we really need someone to stand up for America. I am passing the web site out to everyone I know. Glad it's around.