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Vets, pets and illegal fireworks regrets

Lakewood, like many communities in California, allows the use of “safe-and-sane” fireworks approved by the State Fire Marshal on the day of July 4th only. These are fireworks that do not explode or go into the air. Their sound does not travel far. And families can enjoy them responsibly as part of a fun…and safe…July 4th celebration. Their use also benefits Lakewood community groups that sell them at stands throughout the city between July 1-4.

However, some people make the fateful decision each year to purchase and use fireworks that are illegal in California for personal use. These include skyrockets and explosives…all of which are illegal in California and dangerous to use…especially in highly populated residential neighborhoods like Lakewood.

If you’re thinking of using illegal fireworks, did you know…?

Some combat veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be traumatized by illegal fireworks.

The U.S. Marine Corps urges Americans to be considerate of the veterans living among us when it comes to illegal fireworks use. A Marine veteran of two tours in Iraq said he can prepare for events like the annual fireworks display that his hometown puts on at a certain time. But the sudden rat-a-tat of firecrackers set off by his neighbors throughout the night transports him back to Baghdad and sets him on edge. Lakewood is a community that deeply respects military veterans for their service, so the City of Lakewood urges residents to be considerate of veterans…and think twice before using illegal fireworks in Lakewood.

Pets can also be traumatized by loud fireworks…and more pets run away from home and are lost on July 4th than on any other day.

Like veterans, most pet owners can prepare their animals for a short, one-time event like a planned fireworks show or the use of safe-and-sane fireworks whose sound does not travel far. But there’s no preparing for the loud and unexpected sounds of illegal skyrockets, firecrackers and other explosives, including those happening late at night.

Illegal fireworks…how to report their use

Illegal fireworks use has grown in recent years throughout California and the nation.

It doesn’t matter whether a community allows or disallows the use of safe-and-sane fireworks…the problem of illegal fireworks is the same.

Here’s how you can help:

  • If you see or hear illegal fireworks currently in use, call the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at 562-623-3500.
  • If illegal fireworks are not currently in use, but you know the address where they are repeatedly being used, the best way to report it is by using the Lakewood Connect App. Get ready by downloading the app to your smartphone (Apple App store or Google Play) in advance.
  • Or, you can report known addresses of repeat illegal fireworks users by calling the city’s Tip Line at 562-866-9771 ext. SAFE (7233) to leave a voice mail, or call City Hall’s customer service team during business hours at 562-866-9771, ext. 2140.

“Safe and Sane” fireworks

Lakewood, like many communities in California, allows the use of “safe-and-sane” fireworks approved by the State Fire Marshal on the day of July 4th only between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks do not explode or go into the air and feature the State Fire Marshal seal on the packaging. Their sound does not travel far. And families can enjoy them responsibly as part of a fun…and safe…July 4th celebration. Their use also benefits Lakewood community groups that sell them at stands throughout the city between July 1-4.

Don’t use any fireworks that don’t have the seal (at right) from the California State Marshal.

The article above was released by the City of Lakewood.

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