Some Bay Area cities still allowing fireworks sales see big business ahead of July 4

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Monday, July 3, 2023
Some Bay Area cities still allowing firework sales ahead of July 4
A few local cities in the Bay Area still allow the sale of so-called "safe and sane" fireworks.

SAN BRUNO, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area soon will celebrate its Independence on the Fourth of July. For several weeks, fire departments have been warning the public about the dangers of illegal fireworks and the fire risk they pose.

But a few local cities still allow the sale of so-called safe and sane fireworks.

Celeste Celestine from San Francisco showed us what her family bought from these firework stands in San Bruno to celebrate July 4. She says it's all about safety when lighting them off.

"No where near the grass, no where it could flame up," Celestine said.

RELATED: 4th of July events: List of Bay Area fireworks shows, festivals

"Have a bucket of water, fire extinguisher," said Jerry Morris.

Seven vendors are busy selling safe and sane fireworks in a corner of the Tanforan Mall parking lot, all of them nonprofits like Camp St. Andrews.

"So the funds raised here help us to give camperships to kids who can't afford to pay," said Jon Chiu from Camp St. Andrews.

"It's something our community depends on to raise funds in a short amount of time," said San Bruno City Council Member Marty Medina.

MORE: Crowds flock to Pacifica for fireworks, cooler weather ahead of 4th of July weekend

Medina says San Bruno voters, okayed the sale of fireworks about 12 Years ago.

He's heard the criticism that any type of fireworks pose a fire hazard.

"The things that wake people up at night are the Ilegal fireworks," Medina said.

Warnings about Illegal fireworks and zero tolerance are clearly posted near the stands, including fines of $5,000 if you're caught.

MORE: Here's how authorities plan to crack down on illegal fireworks in East Bay

San Bruno Fire Marshal Gage Schlice inspects the fireworks stands daily, he says buyers need to use caution.

"In San Bruno, the only place to light safe and sane fireworks is your property, you can't go to parking lots of parks to light them off," said Schlice.

San Bruno is one of only a few cities in the Bay Area which still allows the sale of fireworks.

Other cities and counties have banned them.

MORE: July 4th pet owner guide: How to keep scared dogs and cats calm during fireworks, more safety tips

This week, Contra Costa County Fire demonstrated how one lit sparkler set a dry hill on fire.

At these stands, there's no questions asked about where customers intend to light their safe and sane fireworks.

Firefighters hope everyone uses common sense.

"I want everyone to have a great time, but do it in a safe manner," Schlice said.

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