City Encourages Residents & Visitors to Celebrate Safely This Independence Day

BIG BANG ON THE BAY fireworks scheduled for July 3 was cancelled this year and is now planned for Sunday, Sept. 1, the evening before Labor Day.

The City of Long Beach is encouraging residents and visitors to celebrate safely this Fourth of July to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the community. The city has launched its annual Celebrate Safely campaign to showcase the dangers of fireworks activity and encourage alternative fun, family-friendly ways to celebrate on Independence Day and all summer long. All personal fireworks, including sparklers and those labeled “safe and sane,” are prohibited within Long Beach city limits.

Fireworks are a Fourth of July staple and an American pastime beloved by many; however, fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers and cause thousands of injuries each year. Amateur fireworks cause tens of millions of dollars annually in property damage and pose a serious health risk for veterans, people experiencing post-traumatic stress and pets. Fireworks set off in residential neighborhoods, especially those that are loud and unexpected, can trigger flashbacks for veterans and gun violence survivors. The noise also creates panic for many animals and shelters fill with runaway pets every year.

The only safe way to view fireworks is to attend a professional show. The city encourages Long Beach residents and visitors to attend one of the many professional fireworks shows taking place throughout the region. The Long Beach professional show will take place at 9 p.m. on July 4 along the Downtown waterfront.

Here’s how residents can get into the patriotic spirit, without fireworks:

Connect with neighbors by hosting a permitted block party. In an effort to support neighborhood activation and community, the city is waiving the $100 application fee for permitted block parties as well as barricade rental fees, which can be anywhere from $200 to $500. Available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. For more information and to apply, residents may visit www.filmlongbeach.com.

Host a fireworks-free backyard barbecue with family and friends.

Spend the day at the beach.

Go for a bike ride, hike or walk.

Have a water-balloon fight.

Enjoy an outdoor picnic in the park.

Host an outdoors movie marathon with family, friends or neighbors.

Have a fireworks-free backyard dance party with glow sticks, fiber optic wands or noise makers.

Make a patriotic craft with the family.

Throw a birthday party for the United States of America, complete with red, white and blue streamers and cake.

Fireworks Enforcement

All personal fireworks, including sparklers and those labeled “Safe and Sane,” are prohibited within Long Beach city limits. Under the city’s enhanced fireworks ordinance (Municipal Code Section 8.81.060), if someone ‘hosts’ an event with fireworks – as in property owners, tenants, property managers, landlords or anyone who organizes, supervises, officiates, conducts, controls or is in charge of fireworks activity on a property – they could be held responsible and could be liable for all response costs, which can be upwards of $20,000 per response, in addition to other fines.

To prevent firework activity from taking place, the Long Beach Police Department will conduct ongoing, citywide enforcement of illegal firework activity in the weeks and days leading up to and on the Fourth of July. Anyone cited or arrested for fireworks violations may be faced with at least a $1,000 fine, sentenced to jail for six months, or both. (Municipal Code Section 1.32.010).

Community members are urged to report firework activity, which can contribute to the city’s enforcement efforts. To report illegal firework usage and sales:

Submit a fireworks complaint by downloading the updated Go Long Beach App, available on Apple and Android, or directly on the Go Long Beach website.

Call the non-emergency number at the Communications Center at (562) 435-6711 to report fireworks usage and/or sales. For emergencies, always dial 9-1-1.

Email the LBPD patrol division where the firework activity is occurring and provide any details, such as addresses, videos, license plates, photos, or any other information that can be investigated. Please include your name, address and phone number so that you can be contacted, if necessary:

LBPDNorth@longbeach.gov

LBPDSouth@longbeach.gov

LBPDEast@longbeach.gov

LBPDWest@longbeach.gov

The city also reminds the community that “celebratory” gunfire is considered an illegal discharge of a firearm and is very dangerous. Discharging a firearm for celebratory purposes could result in injury or death to innocent residents, and jail time for the offenders.

Driving and Pedestrian Safety

Alcohol is not the only substance that can impair driving and possibly lead to a DUI; prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and marijuana may also affect one’s ability to drive safely. Drivers charged with DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, which can include a suspended license. It is essential to plan ahead, designate a sober driver, or simply stay at home, to ensure everyone’s safety.

Distracted driving, identified as anything that takes one’s eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel, also poses a serious threat to people’s safety and should always be avoided. Pedestrians and bicyclists should always maintain strict awareness of their surroundings, especially at night and when crossing streets, even when crossing in a marked crosswalk, to ensure their safety while on the road.

Additional Summer Safety

The city is also sharing the below recommendations to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time all summer long:

Grilling Safety – Keep grills well away from the home, deck railings and out from underneath eaves and overhanging branches. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. Keep grill clean by removing grease buildup from the grills and trays below the grill. Never leave a grill unattended.

Water Safety – Always supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present, and do not rely on floatation devices. Never swim alone and, when swimming in the ocean, always swim near an open lifeguard station.

Sun Safety – Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water; apply broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks from both UVA and UVB rays and has a SPF of 15 or higher before going outside; and wear protective hats and sunglasses when out in the sun.

Heat Exhaustion and Stroke – Be aware of signs of heat-related illnesses and ways to respond. If signs of heat stroke are present or loss of consciousness occurs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Never leave a child, adult or pet alone inside a vehicle on a warm day. Additional heat safety information is available at ready.gov/heat.

Mosquito Preparedness – Mosquito bites can cause more than skin irritation. Mosquitoes can transmit germs when they bite and can carry and transmit the West Nile virus (WNV), Zika virus, the parasite that causes malaria, dengue virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus and others. Ensure outdoor containers, including kiddie pools, potted plants, bird baths and pet water bowls, remain dry and clean; clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers; and install screens on doors and windows.

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