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Bakersfield Fire Department is giving tips before the crack down begins on illegal fireworks

Posted at 11:56 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 02:56:09-04

For many Kern County residents, firework safety has always been a top priority and concern this time of year.

Especially for those families with kids.

But when it comes to safety and fireworks, most Bakersfield parents seem to get it right.

“Somebody's always got to be holding the kids at all times,” said Kimberly and Aaron Florschuetz.

“We make sure that we have a water bucket,” said Ana Berumen.

“We typically try to keep it small,” said Perla Ponce.

“Keep some shoes on, especially for the little kids,” said Ernest Lewis.

And it's safety that has kept the fire departments "you light it, we write it" campaign going strong, keeping illegal fireworks off our streets and away from kids.

“In years past we've confiscated up to 700 pounds before July 4. And on that specific date we can collect hundreds of pounds throughout that day as well,” said Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza.

And while  it can be clear which fireworks are illegal, like ones that leave the ground or shoot high in the air.

Some people may be surprised to learn other fireworks which are banned in city limits.

“If they do not have the seal "Safe and Sane" then those are....The California State Fire Marshall, that has to be on there or it is illegal. And within the city of Bakersfield, that's still the Piccolo Pete's and the ground bloom types,” said Galagaza.

Saying that the California Fire Marshall seal is the biggest thing to look for in determining a fireworks legality, because anything without it may not be safe or legal enough to light.

“Enjoy the Fourth of July, but be vigilant that you keep everybody safe and make sure that like I stated, there's a water source, keep the kids away, make sure you have a bucket nearby and also do not put immediately used fireworks into the trash can,” said Galagaza.

But Galagaza says if safety isn't already a cause for concern, the price tag that you'll pay for the 20-seconds of color is not worth it.

“And when we're out there, all citations that will be administered will be $1,000, there's a court date within 60-days of the administered citation and we just tell everybody out there it's not worth it. At all,” said Galagaza.

Some other tips that the Bakersfield Fire Department has for anyone looking to buy and use fireworks include never alter or disassemble any fireworks, never re-ignite a malfunctioning firework, and never carry one in your pocket.