File photo FESTIVE: Many in the Fourth of July Parade are known to dress up in silly costumes for the occasion. (Fabian Lewkowicz santamonicacloseup.com)

As the Fourth of Julyholiday approaches, the Santa Monica police and fire departmentsare reminding everyone that all types of fireworks are illegal in the City of Santa Monica. This includes so-called “safe and sane” fireworks, which may not be used in Santa Monica even if they are legal in the city in which they are purchased.

The public is urged to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

City code allows for the seizure and removal of all fireworks stored, sold, offered for sale, used or handled within city limits.

Firefighters said the unsafe use of fireworks results in thousands of injuries each ear.

In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers nationwide who sustained injuries related to fireworks. This is an increase from 8,700 injuries in 2012. Sixty-five percent, or 7,400, of the injuries in 2013 occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4, 2013.

Last year, 55 percent of emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38 percent were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.

In 2014, children younger than age 5 experienced a higher estimated per capita injury rate than any other age group. Past reports indicate that consumers sometimes feel comfortable handing off to children fireworks devices perceived to be less powerful, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. In 2013, sparklers and rockets accounted for more than 40 percent of all estimated injuries.

“Safe and Sane Fireworks are only as safe as they are used,” said State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover. “Last year alone there were over 300 fires sparked by fireworks. We want everyone to enjoy their celebrations in a safe and legal manner.”

Dry conditions magnify the dangers of fireworks. Nationwide, fireworks cause an average of almost 20,000 reported fires per year. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, on Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

“As we head into the fourth summer of a severe drought, it is more important than ever that everyone use an abundance of caution to avoid sparking a fire,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. “Here in California we have a zero tolerance for the use and sale of illegal fireworks.”

There are also legal ramifications when it comes to certain types of fireworks statewide. Possession of illegal fireworks such as sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner can lead to a possible fine of up to $50,000 as well as prison time or jail for up to one year.

Officials said going to a professional fireworks show is the safest way to celebrate the Fourthof July.The following is a sampling of local show locations and schedules:

  • Hollywood, Hollywood Bowl, 2301 North Highland Ave – July 4th Spectacular with Smokey Robinson, July 4, 2015, 7:30 p.m., www.hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/july-4th-fireworks-spectacular-smokey-robinson/2015-07-02
  • Culver City, West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Ave.(near Jefferson); Gates open at 4 p.m., entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m., and the fireworks start at 9 p.m. Suggested donation is $5 per person, Kids 5 and under free. Bring a picnic or enjoy food from snack bar and vendors. Parking is available in nearby lots for $10 per car. http://culvercityfireworksshow.com.
  • Los Angeles, 13th Annual Fireworks Extravaganza at Van Ness Recreation Centerwith Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 5720 2nd Avenue, Los Angeles, event starts at 12 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.
  • Malibu, private shows launched from barges off the coast near 80 Malibu Colony Road, 21622 Pacific Coast Highway and 27856 Pacific Coast Highway, 9 p.m.
  • Marina Del Rey, Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, 9 p.m.
  • Pacific Palisades, Palisades Charter High School, 15777 Bowdoin St., Pacific Palisades, food trucks and performances at 4 p.m., fireworks 9 p.m., tickets available online at http://palisadesrocksthefourth.org.
  • Redondo Beach, Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, gates open at 2 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. www.redondofireworks.com.

For a list of firework shows countywide, visit www.safejuly4th.org/fwshows.htm.

editor@www.smdp.com

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