Happy (almost) 4th of July! Maybe it’s an homage to the “Rockets’ Red Glare”, but Americans love to light up things that go boom in honor of their nation’s birth. However, due to the risk of injuries, the State of California has strict rules around the personal use of fireworks. In 1973 the State enacted the State Fireworks Law. (Cal. Health & Safety Code § § 12500 which defined “fireworks” as any device containing chemical elements that do not require oxygen to burn (which normal combustible items require); and that produce audible, visual, mechanical, or thermal (heat) pyrotechnic effects for entertainment. In other words, most anything “fun” 😉 , including firecrackers, rockets, roman candles, chasers, sparklers, etc. Note that the lowly “sparkler” burns at 2000 degrees fahrenheit, so do not underestimate the burn risk!
So what can a patriotic Californian do? Safe and sane fireworks, of course. The law defines “safe and sane fireworks” as any that do not come within the definition of “dangerous fireworks,” listed above, and that are labeled as safe and sane. (Cal. Health & Safety Code § 12529.) Or I might suggest, skip the risk and simply enjoy a safe and sane BBQ, then let your local municipality (or country club, if you’re lucky!) take care of the unsafe and insane portions of Independence Day.
Happy 4th! Be safe! (And thank you to our friends at NOLO for the above advice.)
Dr. Eric Weiss