As strange as it may seem, what is legal in one city may not always be legal in the next.
In Artesia, fireworks that are labeled “Safe and Sane” by the State Fire Marshall may be purchased for use in the city except for the grounds at Artesia Park. Legal fireworks can only be purchased from a licensed retail stand from noon on June 28 to noon on July 6.
In Cerritos, however, all personal fireworks, including Safe and Sane fireworks, are illegal.
And in every city of Los Angeles County, it is illegal to have any item that explodes, rises in the air or moves about the ground, or any fireworks which is not approved and labeled “Safe and Sane” by the State Fire Marshal. That includes Sky Rockets, Bottle Rockets Roman Candles, M-100s and M-80s, Cherry Bombs Palomitas, and Fire Crackers Helicopters.
Lt. Allen Castellano of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station says that if anybody is caught in his city using Safe and Sane or illegal fireworks they will be subject to arrest and prosecution.
“We put out a campaign that fireworks are not to be used in the City of Cerritos,” Lt. Castellano said. “We stress with the fire department the dangers of using fireworks and how they can be harmful to people and to property. We try to send the message out that we have an alternative way to look at fireworks. The city has spent a lot of money and they probably have one of the best fireworks displays in this part of Southern California at Cerritos High School.”
The annual “Let Freedom Ring” Fourth of July Celebration is one of the biggest days of the year for the City of Cerritos. The city blocks off Bloomfield Avenue between City Hall and for a carnival that includes food and game vendors, rides and attractions, and strolling entertainers. That begins at 4:00 p.m. Then in the evening, everything switches to Cerritos High School for the Fireworks Spectacular, which starts at 9:00 p.m.
Lt. Castellano admits that it takes months of preparation by the City of Cerritos, the business community and the to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
“We have been plotting this for months,” Castellano admitted. “We have extra personnel that day. Captain (Joe A.) Gonzales will be out there, I will be out there, and then we have all the extra (sheriff’s officers) out there. This is one of those big moments for the city where we’ll have everybody out here keeping it safe and enjoyable for everybody.”
The Los Angeles County Fire Department suggests that you visit one of the many professional fireworks shows in your area and always use caution when using Safe and Sane fireworks at home in the few communities where they are legal.
If you do plan on using legal fireworks in Artesia, here are some safety reminders:
- Always read directions and use common sense
- Have an adult present
- Use outdoors only – away from buildings, vehicles, dry grass and other flammable objects
- Light one at a time, then move away quickly
- Keep others at a safe distance
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Do not give to young children under any circumstances
- Have a bucket of water handy for emergencies and for dousing misfired and spent fireworks
- Never attempt to re-light or fix malfunctioning fireworks
For more information visit the web site of the Los Angeles County Fire Department at http://www.fire.lacounty.gov