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Police to Show 'Zero Tolerance' for Illegal Fireworks Use

Pacifica Police are urging the public to have a safe and sane Fourth of July.

are urging celebrators who use fireworks to do it safely and sanely this Fourth of July. They'll be taking a “zero tolerance” stance with lawbreakers this year, said Chief Jim Saunders. 

Because Pacifica is one of only two cities in San Mateo County to allow fireworks outside of professional shows (the other is San Bruno), hundreds of people from around the area flock to the beaches for some DIY bright lights and booms, Cpt. Dave Bertini said.

In response to the crowds, police crack down. 

"We usually make a lot of arrests on the Fourth," Cpt. Bertini said. 

The department will have maximum staffing at the beaches and on the streets on the holiday to watch for the unsafe use of fireworks or the use of illegal fireworks, said Chief Saunders. 

In order to avoid fines or arrests, mark these laws and guidelines:

  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks, even if they’re legal, except between 12p.m. and 11p.m. on June 28, 9a.m. and 11p.m. on June 29 through July 5.
  • Police will swarm on areas where illegal fireworks are being set off
  • All fireworks are prohibited on Sharp Park, Manor and Esplanade Beaches
  • Only “Safe and Sane” fireworks, which can be identified by a California Fire Marshall’s seal on the box, are allowed on Rockaway and Linda Mar (Pacifica State) Beaches
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all beaches

Violators will be issued a $200 fine for a first offense, $400 for the second and $1,000 for the third. Anyone possessing of 25 lbs. or less of illegal fireworks will be issued a $1,000 fine.

Breaking the law on the Fourth can also result in arrest, said Cpt. Bertini, and in some cases, criminal charges and up to six months in jail.  

In order to ensure safety and avoid injuries this holiday, Cpt. Bertini asked that people not drink and ignite. 

"The number one thing is that fireworks and alcohol don't mix," he said. "We've had numerous people get hurt while intoxicated using fireworks, even the 'Safe and Sane' kind."

Cpt. Bertini also urged fireworks users to not allow small children to play with the explosives by themselves and not ignite them where there might be combustible material, even lawn grass. 

Also, buy your 'works at a legal stand, such as the one in the Pedro Point Shopping Center parking lost and avoid purchasing them in places known to sell the illegal kinds, such as San Francisco's Chinatown, he said. 

For more on fireworks safety, check out San Bruno's website

Dataj June 27, 2011 at 04:45 PM
The Pacifica PD has good intentions, but the Linda Mar area will still resemble Baghdad during "Shock and Awe"

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