Zero Fourth of July Fireworks-Related Injuries, But a 43% Jump in Reports of Illegal Fireworks

Published : Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | 5:50 AM

Pasadena’s early and extensive campaign against fireworks leading up to the July 4th celebration seems to have paid off, with the City reporting no fireworks-related injuries and a significant drop in emergency calls during the holiday and citizens apparently being more cooperative with authorities.

A report that’s scheduled for delivery at the City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday evening shows that the number of reports – calls for service by police – of illegal fireworks use or possession jumped 43 percent this year compared to 2017.

The report said emergency responses on July 4 and 5 were lowest in over six years, dropping over 27 percent from 54 in 2017 to 39 this year.

Although there were no fireworks-related injuries, the report said two fireworks-related fires were reported this year.

Authorities also confiscated 50 pounds of fireworks and pyrotechnic devices. Last year, the Pasadena Fire Department said they seized 86 pounds of fireworks.

The City also devoted 13 personnel to Fireworks Enforcement Teams, composed of 12 police officers and corporals under one supervisor.

Six teams composed of two officers each patrolled the City in marked vehicles from 5:30 p.m. on July 4 to 3 a.m. on July 5. They responded to 207 calls for service and issued a total of 23 administrative citations throughout the City. Last year’s calls for service came up to a total of 145.

On a per District basis, District 3 generated 31 percent of the calls for service with two citations issued. District 1 had 26 percent of the calls for service with 15 citations issued. District 5 recorded 19 percent of the calls, with five citations being issued.

District 2 generated nine percent of the calls for service and had one citation issued. District 4 generated nine percent of the calls for service, District 6 three percent, and District 7 three percent, with all three last districts recording no citations issued.

Even before the campaign started, the City had amended the municipal code and warned property owners and tenants that they will be held responsible for permitting the possession, sale, usage or discharge of fireworks on their property. The ordinance change made it easier for the City to prosecute fireworks-related offenses and to demand payment for all costs for the safe disposal of confiscated fireworks.

Under the code, violators are subject to arrest, having their vehicles impounded, and serving up to one year in jail, with fines up to $50,000.

Pasadena Fire Department Battalion Chief Wendell Eaton, Pasadena Police Lt. Art Chute, and acting Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian are scheduled to present the full report on Wednesday, 6 p.m., at the City Council Chamber at the Pasadena City Hall.

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