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Illegal firework use could result in hefty fine
illegal fireworks
The use of illegal fireworks, like those that go up into the air and explode, has the potential to cause injury, property damage and result in a hefty fine. - photo by Journal file photo
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has altered how many will be celebrating the Fourth of July holiday, but one thing remains the same: The Turlock Fire Department will be enforcing the city's law banning the sales and use of illegal fireworks.
"The Turlock Fire Department has zero tolerance for the sale and use of illegal fireworks," said Turlock Fire Department spokesman Capt. Kevin Tidwell. "Illegal fireworks can include any fireworks that explode, go up in the air, or move  a lot on the ground in an uncontrollable manner. In addition to being illegal, these fireworks are extremely dangerous and have been proven to cause significant injuries and extensive property damage."
Fines for the use of illegal fireworks can range from $100 to $1,000 depending on the number of infractions and whether or not the individual is a repeat offender.
In California, the Office of the State Fire Marshal engages in an extensive testing and approval process of a limited variety of 1.4G fireworks that are known and labeled as “Safe and Sane” fireworks as well as “State Fire Marshal-Approved,” or “State-Approved Fireworks.” These “State-Approved Fireworks” may be identified by the State Fire Marshal Seal found on the individual firework or the boxes containing them.
Illegal fireworks are generally those that do not have the State Fire Marshal's seal, or any that go up into the air or explode. Turlock also has a ban on noise-making fireworks known as “Whistling Petes” and “Piccolo Petes."
Fireworks sold at approved vendor booths around Turlock are all in the “Safe and Sane” category and meet all local firework laws and ordinances.
People who have information about the use of illegal fireworks are asked to call the emergency services dispatch at 668-1200. Callers should be prepared to provide the location, any information about the people involved and if there is any immediate danger to people, animals or property, like dry vegetation.
The fire department will be on the lookout for the use of illegal fireworks. Any witnessed use will result in the address, time and date of the offense being provided to the fire marshal, who in turn may issue citations and the corresponding fees.

Firework safety tips

·         Fireworks should always be used with extreme caution and should only be handled by adults.

·         Before using any fireworks, read and follow all warnings and instructions printed on the label.

·         Fireworks are to only be lit outdoors, in a clear area away from structures.

·         Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for dousing fireworks that do not ignite.

·         Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and then throw them away.

·         Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

·         Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially glass or metal containers.

·         Store fireworks in a dry and cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.

·         Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

·         Only State Fire Marshall approved Safe and Sane Fireworks are allowed.