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Illegal Fireworks

Each year serious injuries and millions of dollars in property loss occur from fires sparked by fireworks. Large grass crops and dry vegetation increase the threat for devastating fires throughout all of California, including those areas served by the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

California has zero tolerance for the sale and use of illegal fireworks, and Sacramento County has a general prohibition against the possession, use or sale of fireworks accept as provided in Article 7 of the Sacramento County Code. Anything that goes up in the air, travels or explodes is illegal and dangerous.

In California, it is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “safe and sane” seal, as well as possess or use fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. In the unincorporated area of Sacramento County, it is unlawful to possess, sell, use, display or discharge “safe and sane” fireworks outside of the time period beginning at 12:00 on June 28 and ending at 10.00 p.m. on July 5.

It is also unlawful for any person to sell “safe and sane fireworks” within the unincorporated area of Sacramento County without a valid County business license authorizing such sales. The Office of State Fire Marshal requires the licensing of all pyrotechnic operators, fireworks manufacturers, importer-exporters, wholesalers, retailers, and public display companies. View California Fireworks Program for more information. If convicted, a violator of California fireworks laws could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year.

Any person who in the commission of discharging illegal fireworks ignites a fire that results in the loss of property to another person or that causes great bodily injury could face felony criminal charges up to and including arson, punishable by imprisonment in state prison from two to nine years. Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.

Sacramento County adopted a Hosts Liability Ordinance on June 24, 2022 which created new host responsibilities that include liability and penalties with increased fines for violations of Article 7 of the county code, and provides an additional tool for reducing harm caused by use of illegal fireworks. Penalties for violations of the Hosts Liability Ordinance are as follows:

·       $1,000 for the first violation 

·       $2,500 for the second violation within one year of the first violation

·       $5,000 for each additional violation within one year of the first violation

·       $10,000 for each violation that occurs within the American River Parkway

·       In the event of any conflict between the penalties set forth in Sacramento County Code and any penalties set forth in State law, the maximum penalties allowable under State law shall govern.

Remember, fireworks are dangerous! Consider leaving lighting to the professionals or finding safer celebration alternatives that don’t involve open flames.


Fireworks Safety Tips_rev 03-2023.pdf