City Officials Add Up Holiday Fireworks Seizures

Enforcement teams respond to 83 locations

Published : Thursday, August 17, 2017 | 5:32 AM

Pasadena Fire Department officials seized 86 pounds of fireworks this past Fourth of July Holiday throughout the City, including at the Americafest festival at the Rose Bowl, according to a presentation before the Public Safety Committee Wednesday evening,

Acknowledging the pervasive and increased use of fireworks in the days prior to and after July 4, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek likened some neighborhoods of the city to “a war zone.”

Wendell Eaton of the Pasadena Fire Department and Pasadena Police Lt. Art Chute said that among the seized fireworks were 73 pounds of “dangerous” fireworks, including including firecrackers, cherry bombs, M-80s and bottle rockets, along with 13 pounds of “safe and sane” fireworks, including smoke devices and sparklers. No figures were available on a number of fireworks seized throughout the city during last year’s celebration.

Between 5:30 p.m. on July 4th to 3 a.m. on July 5th, four PPD Firework Enforcement Teams responded to 83 locations. Ten of the locations resulted in the confiscation of fireworks. Seized fireworks were transferred to PFD units for proper storage, according to the presentation.

Along with the fireworks seizures, PPD responded to 36 emergency calls over the 48 hours of the Fourth of July holiday, up from 28 responses last year. There were also four vehicle accidents, one structure fire, two palm tree fires (up from 0 last year), and three fire alarms activated. There were no injuries in any of the fires, according to the presentation.

Enforcement details at the Rose Bowl—made up of nine PFD personnel and PPD officer—also distributed 5,000 “No Fireworks” handouts and seized five pounds of fireworks.

In an effort to reduce the use of fireworks by residents, the City distributed 76,000 copies of Pasadena In Focus, with anti-fireworks messages in the April-July 2017 issues, delivered to homes and businesses throughout Pasadena.

The City also broadcast public service announcements on KPAS TV and City and Pasadena Media websites, along with Pasadena-based social media sites. In addition, a public service announcement promoting Americafest and zero tolerance for fireworks reached almost 60,000 people on Facebook, according to the presentation.

The Committee presentation concluded that “Curbing illegal fireworks use and enforcement remains challenging due to pervasive use and acceptance of fireworks by the public,” and that “The City continues to be a “Zero Tolerance” community for fireworks enforcement, but “the emphasis of both the Fire and Police departments is on education, public information, along with awareness and confiscation.”

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