Huntington Beach police have launched a public awareness campaign to remind residents Safe and Sane fireworks are again illegal in Surf City.
The city in 2012 reinstated state-approved fireworks for two years, but permanently allowing fireworks failed to gain City Council support in September 2013.
“The discussion after the two-year trial included concerns for public safety, the environment and the overall impact on city resources on what is already a challenging day,” said Capt. Russell Reinhart.
Reinhart said police have used social media, posted signs and used traffic reader boards to remind residents of the law.
Anyone caught setting off fireworks will see a $500 fine for the first violation, and a $1,000 fine for any subsequent violations.
Huntington Beach first banned Safe and Sane fireworks in 1987 after a survey of residents showed support for prohibiting them.
City Council members in 2012 approved the trial, despite opposition from the city’s police and fire chiefs.
Reinhart said Huntington Beach saw an increase of illegal fireworks during the two-year trial – a result of allowing the state-approved kind, which can mask the illegal variety.
Police and fire officials last year collected 143 pounds of illegal fireworks. In 2011, before the two-year trial, 44 pounds of illegal fireworks were confiscated.
Calls for service also escalated when Safe and Sane fireworks were allowed, Reinhart said.
There were 576 firework calls in 2013, up from 406 calls in 2011.
Police set up a hotline at 714-375-5144 where residents can report firework activity.
Residents who want to celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks are encouraged to stake out a spot near the pier for the free 9 p.m. firework show.