Answers to Your Questions About Fireworks in South Gate
The South Gate Police Department wants you to know the dangers and consequences of using, selling, or possessing illegal fireworks. Each year illegal fireworks cause millions of dollars in property damage and many serious injuries. Below are questions and answers to commonly asked questions.
Watch our Fireworks Safety Video here!
What are legal fireworks and what fireworks are illegal to possess or use?
Legal fireworks are any fireworks that you can purchase at licensed fireworks stand. There will always be a State Fire Marshall Registered Fireworks sticker on the legal fireworks. Legal fireworks are deemed “Safe and Sane”.All other fireworks are ILLEGAL in the State of California.
When and where and who can you legally purchase safe and sane fireworks?
Legal fireworks can be purchased from 12 PM on June 28th through July 4th. You can only purchase legal fireworks from a licensed and fixed fireworks stand. You must be at least 16 years of age to purchase legal fireworks. Fireworks may not be purchased out of state and transported into California.
What does the South Gate Police Department do in regards to those who possess or sell illegal fireworks?
The South Gate Police Department conducts undercover investigations to find those who sell, possess, or ignite illegal fireworks. Those caught selling illegal fireworks are arrested and face a felony charge. If they transport illegal fireworks in a vehicle then the vehicle is also impounded. Persons caught in possession of illegal fireworks are either arrested for a misdemeanor charge, or issued a citation. All illegal fireworks are confiscated as evidence and turned over to the Los Angeles County Fire Department for destruction.
What are the potential fines for possessing or selling illegal fireworks?
Possession or use of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor. You can either be arrested or issued a citation. The fine is up to $1,000 and the jail time can be up to one year in county jail. Selling illegal fireworks is a much more serious violation. You will be arrested if caught selling illegal fireworks and face a felony charge that could lead up to a 3 year state prison sentence and fines up to $50,000.
Did anybody get arrested last year by the South Gate Police Department for possessing or selling illegal fireworks?
Yes, the South Gate Police Department conducted numerous undercover investigations and arrested (14) people for selling or possessing illegal fireworks, and impounded (7) vehicles as evidence.
If someone knows of someone selling or possessing illegal fireworks what should they do?
They should call the South Gate Police Department at (323) 563-5436 and report the information. They can make the report anonymously if they wish, and an officer will investigate the report.
Can anyone sell the legal or “safe and sane” type of fireworks?
No, only licensed fireworks stands may sell fireworks. Anyone other than a licensed fireworks stand caught selling even the legal type fireworks are subject to arrest and fines.
How do parents know if their children or neighbors are using illegal fireworks?
Most illegal fireworks are easy to detect. All legal fireworks have the Fire Marshalls registered seal on them. If there is no seal, they are illegal. All fireworks that shoot into the sky are illegal in the State of California and very dangerous. Any fireworks that explode, such as fire crackers, sky rockets, and M80’s are illegal. Any fireworks not purchased at a licensed fireworks stand are more than likely illegal.
What is the police department’s advice to parents involved fireworks?
Always supervise your children’s possession and use of fireworks. Insist that they only use fireworks on the 4th of July, and supervise this use of fireworks to ensure they are done safely. Make sure you inspect any fireworks that your children do have and that they are the “safe and sane” type of fireworks.
Make sure your children understand the dangers of using fireworks, even the “safe and sane” type as all fireworks can cause serious injury.
And last….. report any sales or use of illegal fireworks to the police department immediately at (323) 563-5436. For life threatening emergencies dial 911.