Porterville offers tips for safe Independence Day

City recommends the use of sanctioned Sane and Safe fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July, reminds residents that the use of unsanctioned fireworks comes with risks of fines and injuries

PORTERVILLE – With the Fourth of July approaching, the City of Porterville encourages the community to plan ahead to have a safe holiday. As residents look to celebrate, Porterville wants them to understand the risks of using fireworks and that abiding by the Safe and Sane Firework program is essential to personal safety.

Safe and Sane fireworks are those that do not fall within the definition of dangerous or exempt and include the State of California Fire Marshal seal. The Porterville Fire Department has been enforcing this program in compliance with the California Health and Safety Code to ensure that fireworks sold within city limits are legal and are sold with the mindfulness of the significant dangers involved.

Porterville wants residents to know about firework safety and the permitted and prohibited use of fireworks to responsibly celebrate the upcoming holiday. Firework purchases within city limits can only be made from eligible organizations selling safe and sane fireworks. Firework sales began this past Friday and will end at 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 4.

Any firework not bearing the State seal, or that goes up in the air or explodes, is prohibited and illegal and any person caught using these will be issued a fine. The fine amounts for illegal fireworks begin at $2,500 and up to $10,000 per occurrence. Meanwhile, fines for the use of safe and sane fireworks outside the allowable time from this past Friday through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, July 4 range from $1,000 to $5,000. Any time that illegal fireworks are discharged, they pose a potential risk of fire and significant risk of injury.

The City of Porterville wants to remind residents how important it is to prepare when handling fireworks. When using fireworks, residents are instructed to always have a bucket of water nearby, not use fireworks near dry grass or flammable materials, never point or throw them and never allow children to handle them.

Porterville also warns that using fireworks improperly or irresponsibly can result in severe burns, amputations and even death. In addition to these hazards, the loud noises scare pets and the explosions can be harmful to people that suffer from post-traumatic stress. The City of Porterville reminds residents to always be mindful of surrounding neighbors and remember that illegal fireworks are not only dangerous but a nuisance to residents.

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