Release Date/Time: 6/25/2020 8:08 AM
Incident:Fireworks in the City of Salinas
Location: City of Salinas
This Sunday, June 28, 2020, Salinas non-profit organizations will begin sales of 'Safe-n-Sane” fireworks from 18 booths located throughout the city of Salinas. 'For many of our city's non-profit and youth organizations, this is their biggest opportunity of the year to raise funds for their programs” says Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter. 'This year, these groups have been hit hard along with everyone else in the midst of the pandemic and our fingers are crossed that this will give them the much-needed boost they desperately need.”
While 'Safe-n-Sane” fireworks are legal to purchase and use within the city limits between June 28th and July 5th, Salinas officials warn that they are on the lookout for those who are purchasing and using illegal fireworks 'Anything that flies into the air or creates loud noise is considered illegal” according to Salinas Fire Battalion Chief and Fire Marshal Samuel Klemek. 'Starting in early June, we start to receive complaints from residents who are fearful for their property, pets, and sanity. We are now receiving 20 to 30 complaints per night”.
The Salinas fire and police departments collaborate to monitor reports and try to focus enforcement where illegal fireworks are being reported. 'We use several enforcement methods such as undercover officers in unmarked patrol units, surveillance video, and other methods to help us find offenders” says Salinas Assistant Police Chief, Roberto Filice. Dangerous and illegal fireworks such as bottle rockets, M-80s, and mortars are prohibited throughout California, and persons found using, or in possession of, dangerous and illegal fireworks are subject to fines ranging from $1,250 to $50,000.
Both Filice and Klemek confirm that multiple citations have already been issued and add that some individuals have received multiple fines because they have been captured on video over several days, lighting illegal fireworks in their neighborhoods. 'Each time you light a fuse, you subject yourself to a fine of $1,250 or more” Klemek says and 'you never know who might be watching or recording you”. Exasperated residents are fed-up with the nightly barrage, unable to sleep or trying to comfort loved ones that are scared to death. The community is stepping up to provide law enforcement officials with good intelligence of where illegal fireworks are being used and stepping up efforts to respond. It is definitely a cat-and-mouse game for them. Adding to the anxiety this year is the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic. Salinas officials warn against hosting large gatherings in homes and neighborhoods that could potentially spread the virus, unnecessarily prompting renewed restrictions on daily life.
To make sure you and your family celebrate safely during the 4th of July, Salinas officials recommend the following 'Safe-n-Sane” fireworks safety practices:
Buy and use only 'Safe and Sane” fireworks from a permitted commercial retailer.
Always read and follow instructions on fireworks packaging.
Closely supervise children during the use of 'Safe and Sane” fireworks.
Never use fireworks around dry vegetation or areas likely to catch fire.
After firework has been used, soak in water before discarding.
Always keep at a safe distance.
Always have a garden hose and a bucket of water on hand when using fireworks.
If a fire escapes your control, call 911 immediately.
Salinas fire and police officials also encourage residents to report the use or sales of illegal fireworks with as much specific information as possible by visiting www.salinasfireworks.com, using the 'Salinas Connect” smartphone application, or call/text (831) 758-7475. Calls are monitored but will not be returned.
Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera