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With the upcoming July 4 holiday approaching, legal “safe and sane” fireworks go on sale for the first time today, June 28 and only in designated cities and communities.

However, according to the Los Angeles county Fire Department, the sale and/or possession of fireworks are prohibited in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles county.

For parents whose children have acquired any fireworks prior to June 28, the items are probably illegal and dangerous and should be turned over to your neighborhood fire department.

Illegal fireworks are considered to be any item that explodes, rises in the air or moves about the ground or any fireworks not approved and labeled “Safe and Sane” by the State Fire Marshal. They include “sky” or “bottle rockets,” “Roman candles,” “mortars,” “cherry bombs” and “palomitas.”

It is against the law to use, possess, store or sell “illegal fireworks.” State law provides for a fine and/or a year in jail upon conviction for violating fireworks laws. Some violations are a felony.

Under California Health and Safety Code Fireworks Penalties, Section 12700(B) states, “a person in possession of unaltered dangerous fireworks in violation of the State Fireworks Law is punishable as a misdemeanor or a public offense with fines ranging from $500 to more than $50,000, depending on the gross weight of unaltered dangerous fireworks in possession.”

Fireworks can cause burns, injuries and fires. Violators can be held responsible for damages, as well as having to pay a fine and/or go to jail.

Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.

Look for the “Safe and Sane” seal on all fireworks. And when using said fireworks, remember to:

• Always read directions and use common senseHave an adult present’

  Use outdoors only— away from buildings, vehicles, dry grass and other flammable objects

  Light one at a time, then move away quickly

  Keep others at a safe distance

  Never point or throw fireworks at another person

  Never alter or take apart

  Do not give to young children under any circumstances

  Have a bucket of water handy for emergencies and for dousing misfired and spent fireworks

• Never attempt to re-light or fix malfunctioning fireworks.

The LA county fire department is listing the dates, times and locations for professional fireworks shows on the department website, http://www.fire.lacounty.gov, beginning on June 28. You can also call Fireworks Hotline at (888) 654-FIRE (3473) for more information.

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