News | City of San José




Erica Ray, Public Information Officer, San José Fire Department
408-398-9228; [email protected]

Luisa Rapport, Information Specialist, Santa Clara County Fire Department

Fireworks “Not Worth It” – Celebrate Safe This July 4th
Santa Clara County Fire Departments Warn Residents of Extreme Danger from Fireworks

SAN JOSE, California (June 22, 2021) – In time for the July 4 vacation, fire departments across Santa Clara County have teamed up to remind residents that fireworks are illegal, dangerous, and can cause fires and easily preventable injuries. Residents will be fined for using, possessing, storing or selling illegal fireworks. Santa Clara County’s “social host” fireworks ordinance holds landowners accountable for the illegal use of fireworks on their property.

This year, the danger of fires caused by fireworks is extreme. “The vegetation is drought-stressed, dry and ready to burn,” said Brian Glass, acting fire chief for Santa Clara County. “It is absolutely essential that residents understand the extreme fire risk at a time of year when the weather is hot and vegetation is sensitive. We know that a spark can have dire consequences.

A county-wide public awareness and education campaign began on June 21 to inform residents that when it comes to fireworks, “[It’s] It’s not worth it ”and can lead to dangerous fires and serious injury. County towns will focus their efforts on law enforcement, and residents are encouraged to report the illegal use of fireworks according to the process determined by their town or village of origin.

“The Bay Area has seen a dramatic increase in illegal fireworks activity over the same period last year, resulting in more than 30 preventable fireworks-related fires in San José alone,” said Robert Sapien Jr., fire chief of the San José Fire Department. “Deciding to use illegal fireworks is also deciding to endanger the life and property of your neighbor. In the current drought conditions, illegal fireworks are putting the whole community at risk. We are asking for help in keeping our community safe by urging residents to comply with fireworks bans and encouraging community members to report illegal fireworks activity using our online reporting tool to help the City take enforcement action.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires per year, of which 59% were reported as brush, grass or forest fires. These fires caused an average of five deaths, 46 civilian injuries and an average of $ 105 million in direct property damage.

This 4th of July holiday also comes at a unique time when residents are enjoying a return to normal activities and social events. Residents are encouraged to continue to follow current public health orders and recommendations, find safe activities, and leave fireworks for professionals by visiting a licensed public exhibit.

If there is an active fire or medical emergency, residents should dial 9-1-1.

Illegal fireworks in San José

All types of fireworks, even those labeled “safe and sane” are illegal in San José and most of Santa Clara County. Community members are encouraged to report illegal fireworks online:

  • BREAK: Safely take photo or video of illegal fireworks activity.
  • CLICK ON: Visit
  • REPORT: Fill out the online form with complete and accurate information regarding illegal pyrotechnic activity.

Residents can also report fireworks year-round through a 24-hour helpline at (408) 535-5600 or by calling 311. The online reporting tool is available throughout the year. year.

All reports will be reviewed and if sufficient information and evidence is provided, the City’s Code Enforcement Division will issue a warning or citation.

Updated in December 2020, the city of San José now imposes some of the highest fines for the illegal use of fireworks.

Sale, use, possession and storage of fireworks fines for violation:

First offense

$ 1,000

Second offense

$ 2,000 (over a period of 18 months from the date of the previous violation)

Third violation and subsequent violations

$ 3,000 (within 18 months from the date of the previous violation)

Fines for the sale of fireworks can reach $ 50,000 plus jail time, depending on the amount.

The city’s recently updated Social Hosts Ordinance extends liability to the social host or person who organizes a gathering where fireworks are used. The social host and owner will be held responsible for fines associated with the illegal use of fireworks as well as emergency response costs resulting from the use of illegal fireworks.

About the city of San José
With over one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is the largest city in Northern California and the 10th largest city in the country. San José’s transformation into a center of global innovation has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets out a vision and a comprehensive roadmap to guide the City’s planned growth through 2040.

About the San José Fire Department
The San José Fire Department (SJFD) is a full-service, all-hazards metropolitan fire department that provides services and protects a population of over one million residents within the approximately 180 square miles of the tenth largest city in the country. The protection zone includes residential, commercial, high-rise, industrial buildings, seven major hospitals (including three trauma centers and seven emergency departments, the SAP Center (home of the San José Sharks of the NHL), the Earthquakes Stadium (home of MSL’s San Jose earthquakes), San José State University, San José’s Norman Y. Mineta International Airport, three super-regional shopping malls, the Patent and Trademark Office of United States and interface areas between wilderness and urban areas.

About the Santa Clara County Fire Department
Established in 1947, the Santa Clara County Fire Department is an internationally accredited emergency services agency serving northern California’s largest county, providing emergency response to more than 226,000 residents in the communities of Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Redwood Estates, Saratoga and adjacent unincorporated areas. For more information, please visit

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