Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 10:17 pm | Fair 52º


‘Safe and Sane’ Fireworks Sales Begin in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Guadalupe

Use of all fireworks banned throughout rest of Santa Barbara County

fireworks stand Click to view larger
A Santa Maria fireworks booth at the parking lot for the Albertsons grocery store at Broadway and McCoy Lane will benefit Grace Lutheran Church and New Beginnings. Sales of state-certified “safe and sane” fireworks went on sale at noon Thursday in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Guadalupe. All fireworks are banned throughout the rest of Santa Barbara County. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Sales of so-called “safe and sane“ fireworks launched Thursday in three northern Santa Barbara County cities, but still remain illegal to use in all other communities. 

The cities of Santa Maria, Lompoc and Guadalupe again will allow the sale of the state-sanctioned fireworks, which do not propel into the sky, at booths operated by nonprofit organizations.

However, under Santa Maria and Lompoc laws, the fireworks should only be used on July 4. 

In Santa Maria, “safe and sane” fireworks may be used within Santa Maria city for 12 hours, between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on July 4.

In Lompoc, fireworks can be used from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4. Fireworks are not allowed on any other day in either city.

However, Guadalupe allows people to use the fireworks as soon as sales start.

All fireworks are banned in Orcutt, Vandenberg Village and other unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County, and within the cities of Solvang, Buellton, Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria.

Non-safe-and-sane fireworks, or those that propel into the sky, are prohibited throughout the county, with authorities urging residents to leave those fireworks to the professionals.

This year's fireworks sales started hours after Lompoc firefighters responded to a blaze at the Anderson Recreation Center that was blamed on a firework. 

“What we ask as public safety officials is just to stay vigilant as a community,” said Battalion Chief Brian Federmann of the Lompoc Fire Department. “We don’t want to see the actions of a few compromise everybody else especially when it comes to public safety and infrastructure threats.”

Police officers and firefighters are already coping with a busy workload so the community’s support and assistance is especially vital, he added.

Even the “safe and sane” fireworks carry a degree of danger with sparklers capable of  burning people or igniting a blaze in dry grass.

“We want you to be careful; Use them only in the approved cities where they can used,” Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman, said. 

Anyone caught using any fireworks on non-approved days, or in areas where banned, face a possible fine.

To combat illegal fireworks users, Santa Maria has at hotline of 805.925.0951, extension 3473 (FIRE).

In Lompoc, by mid-June, firework reports flooded the Lompoc Police Department 9-1-1 dispatch center, which should be used for emergencies, city staff said. 

Reports of illegal firework use in Lompoc can be submitted through the Lompoc Police Department's mobile app using the "Tips" feature, or by calling the non-emergency line at 805.736.2341.

The plethora of illegal fireworks in Santa Maria ignited a community campaign about the rules for legal “safe and sane” fireworks while reminding residents about dangers from use of airborne and loud illegal fireworks.

In Santa Maria, the city’s action plan consists of multiple public service announcements, posters, fliers, website and social media messaging, a fireworks hotline, and free yard signs available in English and in Spanish for noise-sensitive residents.

Yard signs with wire stakes reading “Celebrate July 4th Neighborly, Noise Sensitive Resident Lives Here, Be Courteous to Your Neighbors” are now available for Santa Maria residents at City Hall.

Non-city residents wanting signs may find them online.

Santa Maria’s efforts stem from a public outcry about the fireworks and the impact especially on frightened pets, with a high number of dogs escaping owners or needing sedatives.

Government officials encourage residents to leave the fireworks displays to professional putting on shows the night of July 4 all over the county, including Santa Maria, Lompoc, Goleta and Santa Barbara. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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