Fontana: Zero Tolerance for Illegal Fireworks
Fontana, Calif. – The City of Fontana in collaboration with the Fontana Police Department and the San Bernardino County Fire Department are working to send a zero tolerance message against the use of illegal fireworks in Fontana as the 4th of July holiday approaches. The “Say No to Illegal Fireworks” Awareness and Enforcement Campaign will run from June 1, 2017- July 5, 2017. The campaign will include a series of fire and law enforcement operations to stop attempts towards the use, sale and possession of illegal fireworks. The campaign will also include this public service announcement, digital billboard ads on the 10 and 210 Freeways and banners throughout the community reminding the public that only “Safe and Sane” fireworks are accepted for use within city limits..
So far this year, Fontana Police Officers have cited two individuals for illegal fireworks, arrested three individuals for possession and sales of illegal fireworks and have seized over 100 pounds of illegal fireworks. Fines for possession and discharge of illegal fireworks range from $2,500 – $10,000.
In 2016, the San Bernardino County Fire Department Office of the Fire Marshal in cooperation with law enforcement seized over 25,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from being trafficked into the county.
Fontana Police Department will staff extra officers and conduct saturation patrols over the holiday weekend to cite and arrest any individual caught in possession of, or igniting illegal fireworks. Officers will be looking for individuals using illegal fireworks which consist of any fireworks that explode and fly such as M-80’s, Bottle Rockets, Fire-Crackers, Roman Candles and Mortars. Fontana City Code 15-602 states, “No person shall posses,sell, use, display or explode any “Dangerous fireworks.”
“We understand the growing concern regarding the dangers associated with the use of illegal fireworks and we are asking for your help to make this Fourth of July holiday safe,” stated City of Fontana Spokeswoman Martha Guzman-Hurtado. ” Illegal fireworks use is not worth the risk of getting caught, paying expensive fines, causing injury or damaging property.”
The Fontana Police Department encourages residents who plan on purchasing fireworks to purchase “Safe and Sane.” These fireworks are less likely to cause injury and do not explode or fly. The “Safe and Sane” fireworks are still dangerous, especially for children. Any child using any type of “Safe and Sane” firework should have adult supervision. The “Safe and Sane” Fireworks may be discharged in Fontana between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. from June 28th – July 5th. Fines for illegal use of Safe and Sane fireworks range from $250 – $1,050. This includes modification, allowing a minor to set off fireworks and discharging them outside the time frame allowed by the Fontana City Code.
The Fontana Police Department continues to be one of the few cities to allow the sale of “Safe and Sane” fireworks in the Inland Empire. As a result, the Fourth of July generates a significantly higher number of calls for service.
“Residents play an important role in our fireworks investigations,” said Fire Marshal Mike Horton. ” If you see something, say something. Call the authorities or WeTip hotline at 1-800-47-Arson to report illegal fireworks.”
“We want Fontana residents to enjoy a safe and responsible 4th of July,” stated Fontana Police Chief Bob Ramsey.
As an alternative to purchasing fireworks, the City of Fontana will have a Fourth of July Celebration at Fontana High School with music, food and fireworks starting at 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information call 909-349-6900.
For more information about the use of fireworks in Fontana call the Fireworks Information line at (909) 356-7101.