Monday night will be filled with booms and pops from fireworks across Southern California — but how many of those are actually legal? In California, only state-approved fireworks are allowed for sale through permitted retailers in certain cities, like Anaheim.
Two TNT Fireworks stands opened in the City of Angels on Tuesday in preparation for next week's Independence Day celebrations. The largest is located at the Honda Center, with a second stand at the corner of Brookhurst Street and Ball Avenue.
Since only state-approved vendors can set up shop, if you purchase fireworks from someplace other than a stand, chances are you're buying something illegal and potentially dangerous, TNT Fireworks Vice President Rick Poe told KPCC.
“The easiest way, if you’re a consumer wondering what’s safe and what is not safe, what’s permitted and what’s not permitted — simply buy from a fireworks stand that’s in your local community," he said.
Anaheim is just one of the cities that allows pyrotechnics on the Fourth of July, but you don't have to be a resident of that city to purchase them. Poe said this is something that's very hard to regulate or monitor.
“It’s difficult to not sell, we can’t be selective and not sell to somebody if they don’t live in a city because we don’t know for certain if that’s where they’re going to shoot the fireworks off," he said.
Poe added Anaheim Hills is an area where they are prohibited, but there will be an aerial firework show that residents can watch in lieu of this restriction.
These fireworks are going for sale as fires continue to burn in different parts of the state. Fireworks are banned in lots of places — including the national forest, the Angeles National Forest's reminded KPCC on Monday, as firefighters fought the San Gabriel Complex Fire, which was at least partially human-caused.
Here are some tips from Poe on firework safety:
- Fireworks should be lit and controlled by an adult; be vigilant of children.
- Stay at least 25 feet away to view them.
- Keep water handy to douse them after they're done popping.
- Dispose of them properly.