In the state of California, fireworks are divided into two categories: “Dangerous fireworks” and “safe and sane fireworks.” Dangerous fireworks include larger sparklers and rockets. Safe and sane fireworks include snap caps, fountains and spinners. You can find a more comprehensive list on the Office of the California State Fire Marshal website.
If you don’t have a special display license, dangerous fireworks are illegal for your use. Typically, the only people who can secure a special display license are pyrotechnic operators who put on holiday displays. You may, however, legally purchase those fireworks on the safe and sane list provided you are 16 years of age or older.
A person who is charged with and found guilty of purchasing or using illegal fireworks in California is subject to a year in a county jail and/or a fine of no more than $1,000. It may be considered a felony depending on the number of fireworks a person has in their possession.
Even if you purchase safe and sane fireworks with the intent of setting them off on the Fourth of July, safety is important. Follow these tips to ensure that you and those enjoying the evening are safe.
1. Know How to Use the Firework
Most fireworks involve some sort of ignition, but not all do. It’s important that you know what you are working with. If you attempt to ignite a firework incorrectly, you are putting yourself at risk. Always read the instructions included with the fireworks you purchase to be sure that you are using them in the intended manner.
2. Keep Water Nearby
No matter what type of fireworks you will be using, you should keep a bucket of water nearby. Extinguish the fireworks completely in the bucket before you put them in the trash bin. Another good idea is to keep a hose ready to use in the case that a spark ignites anything laying on the ground in the area.
3. Keep People Back
It’s always safest to keep people out of the general vicinity when you will be lighting off fireworks of any type. If the firework has the potential to move or explode, there is a risk to anyone standing nearby. If you are using something simple like snap caps, there is very little danger but still safety precautions that should be taken, such as not throwing the caps at anyone’s person.
4. Out of the Hands of Minors
You may trust your preteen to handle fireworks, but that doesn’t make it legal. It is a crime to allow someone who is too young to purchase safe and sane fireworks to use them. Don’t allow anyone under the age of 16 to use the fireworks.
Talk to a San Luis Obispo Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you are injured by a firework in San Luis Obispo due to someone’s negligence, error or reckless behavior, reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options. Call our office to schedule a free case evaluation.