July 4th: You’ll loose your independence if arrested for fireworks violations
Published:  July 02, 2014

It’s going to be some 238th birthday for the United States of America on July 4th and there will be plenty of fireworks to go around... just make sure they’re not your fireworks or you could face a fine or even arrest.

There will be a Fireworks Spectacular at Harding Park starting at 9 p.m., a flashing, booming, sizzling air show of pyrotechnics - sponsored by the Santa Paula Rotary, City and generous supporters - that is visible throughout the city. 

Santa Paula Police will be enforcing the ban on fireworks within city limits; even possession of pyrotechnics said SPPD Commander Ish Cordero, is against the law.

You’ll loose your independence if arrested for fireworks violations and that includes possession or use of the state sanctioned “Safe and Sane” fireworks that went on sale Saturday in Fillmore. 

Much like Las Vegas what happens in Fillmore stays in Fillmore when it comes to fireworks: pyrotechnics purchased in Fillmore through July 5 are meant to be fired off only in Fillmore. They can be used on private property with the owner’s permission or in any of Fillmore’s public parks.

But in addition to Santa Paula, elsewhere in Ventura County fireworks are also strictly banned.

With potential for injury as well as fire high, only professionals should handle fireworks.

In Santa Paula, “We urge folks to refrain from lighting these things,” said Cordero. “They’re against the law and those caught using them are subject to arrest... we’ll be enforcing that as well.”

Depending on the incident, Santa Paula fines can be up to $1,000 and potentially include jail time for those who illegally possess and/or set off fireworks. 

According to Fire Chief Rick Araiza, statistics show that children ages 10 to 14 have three times the risk of fireworks injury than the general population and can suffer serious burns from sparklers, fountains and novelties, which have temperatures of 1200°F or higher.

“Safe and Sane” fireworks are those approved by the State Fire Marshal and do not include projectiles of any type.

Although even sanctioned fireworks can start fires Araiza said many people buy illegal imported fireworks of all sorts. 

With the deepening drought, record low to-date brush moisture rates and record temperatures, the concern for fire is stronger than ever. 

Said Araiza, “It takes just one spark,” to set off what could become a raging wildfire.

For fire and personal safety, if you do light fireworks in legal areas -remember, the only legal area in Ventura County is within the City of Fillmore - monitor children to make sure they don’t get too close.

Used fireworks, even those that did not ignite and are considered duds, can still explode long after being lit and should be disposed in an oversized metal trashcan. A hose or bucket of water should be used after lighting fireworks to ensure all embers are out.

Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. Teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire - “stop, drop and roll” - and how to call 911 in an emergency.

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