Fourth of July is coming soon, and as many of you start to plan your celebrations, I would like to remind you to be safe and responsible.
Every year, we hear about tragedies involving fireworks that were 100 percent preventable.
I’m reminded of the saying, “If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.” We don’t want anyone to get burned, and we don’t want any senseless acts to turn a festive occasion into a lifetime of regret.
Throughout the month of June, the City of Fontana is collaborating with our officers and the San Bernardino County Fire Department to promote a fireworks safety campaign to prevent the use of illegal fireworks and injuries in Fontana.
Illegal fireworks are prohibited in Fontana and all of San Bernardino County. While Safe and Sane fireworks are allowed in some areas of Fontana, they are prohibited in the high fire hazard area of Fontana north of Summit Avenue.
The City of Fontana only allows Safe and Sane fireworks in the area south of Summit per municipal code, Sec. 15-616. The area north of Summit, west of Interstate 15 and east of Lytle Creek Road is deemed a high fire hazard area, and all fireworks (including Safe and Sane) are prohibited.
The Fontana Police Department will be enforcing fireworks-related violations. Fines for possession and use of illegal fireworks range from $2,500 to $10,000.
Throughout June, you will see fireworks safety-related messages on the city social media accounts. The awareness campaign will also include banners on Sierra Avenue and Baseline Avenue, along with the digital billboards on the Interstate 10 and 210 freeways.
You will also see magnets reminding the public to say no to illegal fireworks on all P.D. patrol units and Fire vehicles.
For those of you purchasing the Safe and Sane fireworks, please be respectful of your neighbors. Be mindful of our veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, our babies, pets, and those trying to sleep as you light up fireworks this Fourth of July.
There will be 45 booths selling the Safe and Sane fireworks in Fontana from June 28 to July 4. Remember, even the Safe and Sane variety are hazardous and can create serious burns and other devastating injuries to loved ones.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 2017 Fireworks Annual Report, there were an estimated 12,900 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2017, with 67 percent of those injuries occurring around the Fourth of July holiday. During this one-month period, sparklers were the number one cause of injury.
We strongly encourage residents to leave fireworks to the pros and attend one of the local fireworks displays in your community.
Fontana is going to have one of the best fireworks shows in the region at Fontana High School on Thursday, July 4. Tickets are $6 and will be available for purchase starting Monday, June 10 at City Hall, the Community Services Department, Don Day Neighborhood Center and the Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Community Center. Kalimba, the Spirit of Earth, Wind, and Fire, will be performing.
We hope you and your neighbors will join us on this Fourth of July by celebrating responsibly and having a safe and memorable holiday.
To learn more about City of Fontana fireworks safety information, visit fontana.org/fireworks.
(Acquanetta Warren is the mayor of Fontana.)