The City of Grover Beach is working closely with the Grover Beach Police Department and Five Cities Fire Authority to ensure the safety of the community this Fourth of July holiday.
“Fireworks are a traditional part of Fourth of July celebrations, yet every year people take needless risks by violating the law and established safety regulations,” said John Peters, Grover Beach Chief of Police. “The Grover Beach Police Department typically receives an average of 47 calls for service regarding the illegal use of fireworks each July 4th holiday period. Compliance with State law and City regulations will help ensure the safety of community members and allow our public safety personnel to concentrate on the other high priority calls.”
In May of 2020, the City of Grover Beach amended its fireworks ordinance to limit the public discharge period for legal “Safe and Sane” fireworks to July 4 between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. only. “Safe and Sane” fireworks are those that are neither a projectile nor explosive and are commonly referred to as fountains, sparklers, smokeballs, snake-type fireworks, ground-spinning fireworks, pinwheels, most novelty fireworks, and some crackling items.
To closely monitor the fireworks activities this July, the Grover Beach Police Department will deploy its new drone program to enhance the department’s oversight of the City. While responding to calls from the Police Department, the drone team will also be working closely with a team of officers on the ground who are protecting residents from the direct impacts of illegal fireworks. The illegal discharge of fireworks in San Luis Obispo County may result in a misdemeanor violation with up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In February 2022, the Police Department launched its drone program to increase its response and investigation capabilities and to proactively detect crimes in progress. The team of twelve drones and seven trained pilots helps keep officers and the community safe by playing an active role in public safety incidents that call for increased situational surveillance, such as search warrants, missing persons, building searches and ocean searches.
Chief Steve Lieberman of the Five Cities Fire Authority encourages residents to keep the drought in mind this fireworks season. As many residents have “browned” their lawns in an effort to conserve water, they have become easily combustible. Other safety protocols that should always be observed while handling “Safe and Sane” fireworks include:
• Stay away from anything that is not clearly labeled with the State Fire Marshal’s seal
• Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
• Read and follow all manufacturers’ warnings and instructions
• Keep a source of water (and a fire extinguisher) close by
“The use of illegal fireworks puts the public, police officers and firefighters at risk and creates an unnecessary burden to our communities,” stated Matthew Bronson, Grover Beach City Manager. “Compliance with safety protocols will be key to help mitigate wildfire risk, reduce the impact on noise-sensitive community members and animals and ultimately create an enjoyable holiday for our City.”
To report illegal fireworks, please contact the Grover Beach Police Department by calling (805) 473-4511.