Sacramento Police Sargeant Mark Harri says some illegal fireworks are homemade, like an M-80 he picks up that’s about the size of a small flashlight:
Here’s just another version of a larger, homemade explosive device. Basically, when you get into these explosive devices like this, you’re talking about serious bodily injury, if these things were to go off anywhere around you, up to and including death.
Police and fire officials have adopted a zero tolerance policy towards those who use or possess illegal fireworks this Fourth of July:
Illegal fireworks remain public enemy number one for the fire service.
Hugh Council, with the office of the State Fire Marshal, is worried about the possibilities of injuries from fireworks, as well as the increased risk of fire. He says in recent years, California has seen an influx of illegal fireworks in the state, both from organized commercial operators, as well as small individual sellers:
We have one of the most co-ordinated, investigative efforts this state has ever seen. We’re attempting to identify, track, detain, seize and arrest those engaged in illegal fireworks trafficking.
So far, this year, authorities have seized more than 90 tons of illegal fireworks. Violators of fireworks laws, both adults and juveniles, face prosecution and jail time. And most Californians may not know it, but it is illegal to buy or use fireworks before June 28th and after July 6th.
In addition to enforcement, the state task force is engaged in educating citizens about the dangers of illegal fireworks. It has produced a public service announcement that will play in hundreds of communities”
PSA ….in California’
In co-operation with TNT fireworks, which makes safe and sane products, the office of the State Fire Marshal has also produced a 20 minute safety video which will be shown in two thousand schools around the state.
More than 270 communities in California do allow the sale and use of state approved fireworks.
Those devices are sold by about 35 hundred non-profit organizations from visibly marked trailers, usually located in strip malls, grocery store parking lots or vacant lots.
The fireworks themselves carry the state fire marshall’s seal of approval and are marked safe and sane.