No Illegal Fireworks Symbol
No Illegal Fireworks!
$1,000 Fine

We're aware that legal fireworks are still permitted in only a few Orange County cities. What should we look for in choosing fireworks to ensure that they're the type we should be using?

  • Look for the seal of the California State Fire Marshal and the words, "Safe. . . Sane," on each piece of fireworks, as well as on the packaging. This means that they have been listed as safe for use (in accordance with all manufacturer's instructions) in the State of California where local laws permit their sale and use.
  • Fireworks that explode, shoot through the air, move along the ground, including skyrockets, bottle rockets, firecrackers of all types, Roman candles, etc., have always been illegal in California. Penalties for those caught storing, selling, or using these types of fireworks can include a fine of $1,000 and/or one year in jail.
  • Many illegal fireworks have wording such as "D.O.T. approved," etc. Don't be misled by these phrases; they do NOT make such fireworks legal in California. If the seal of the State Fire Marshal and the words, "Safe. . .Sane," do not appear on fireworks, they should not be used.

We know that illegal fireworks have been responsible for many disastrous fires and injuries. But, why are supposedly "legal" fireworks now being prohibited in so many cities?

While it's true that illegal fireworks have indeed accounted for a number of fires and fire injuries, unfortunately, so have legal fireworks. The difference in the causes of these incidents is that, with illegal fireworks, causes usually involve the fireworks themselves, whereas, with legal fireworks, the user's actions often cause the fire and/or injury. The most frequent causes of fires involving legal fireworks are: failure to follow manufacturer's instructions on their safe use, including throwing them into the air or into vehicles, mailboxes, residences and other structures, etc; tossing them into dumpsters or into dry grass and other combustible vegetation; attempting to alter them; careless storage and/or use; kicking, holding, or throwing fireworks at people and other objects; and, placing fireworks inside things and exploding them.

What should we do if we observe or hear illegal fireworks activity in our neighborhood?

Attempt to get an exact location of where this illegal activity is occurring and call the police department. They will then follow up on the information on a call-priority basis. You should also notify the police if you see someone selling illegal fireworks.

What safety rules should be followed when using "safe and sane" fireworks?

Fireworks should always be used in safe, open areas away from buildings, combustibles, dry vegetation, and especially people and animals.

A connected garden hose should be ready nearby and a pail of water kept handy for disposal of spent fireworks and "duds," faulty, unexploded fireworks.

Follow all manufacturer's instructions on fireworks carefully.

Do not allow small children into the area where fireworks are being discharged. Keep all matches and lighters out of children's reach.

Do not store fireworks from year to year.

Current laws specify that fireworks may only be sold or used during the period of July 1 through July 4.

Pet lovers should try to confine their pets inside on July 4, as many animals become extremely agitated by the sights and sounds of fireworks. Some of these pets will even run into the streets and away from home in an attempt to flee fireworks activity that is distressing to them.

Never allow children to use fireworks without at least one adult present at all times.

Treat minor burns by placing the burned area into cool water for at least 15 minutes. Do not put anything else on the burn such as ice, butter, grease, vitamin oil or salves. Use cool water only and then cover the burn with a dry sterile dressing, if desired, to help prevent infection.