PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

6/23/2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 062321-2
Subject:
City Encourages Residents to Celebrate Safely Over Fourth of July Weekend
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
jic@longbeach.gov





Long Beach, CA - The City of Long Beach is encouraging residents and visitors to celebrate safely over the Fourth of July holiday weekend to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and safe holiday. All personal fireworks are prohibited in the City of Long Beach and residents can expect ongoing citywide enforcement of the City’s fireworks ordinance.

“To ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend, we encourage residents and visitors to follow our city ordinances, not use fireworks and celebrate safely,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

Fireworks and Other Illegal Activity
Not only are all personal fireworks, including those labeled “Safe and Sane,” prohibited in Long Beach, but they are also a hazard for people and nearby structures. Amateur fireworks, including sparklers, cause tens of millions of dollars annually in property damage and result in many injuries, the majority of which are suffered by children. Fireworks also 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 experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. The noise also creates panic for many animals and shelters fill with runaway pets every year.

The Long Beach City Council recently unanimously passed an emergency fireworks ordinance, enhancing the existing fireworks ordinance and expanding the scope of liability and penalties associated with illegal fireworks activity. Under the new ordinance, any “Host,” which includes but is not limited to property owners, tenants, landlords or property managers, can be held liable for any response costs associated with illegal fireworks activity taking place in and around the property, including any applicable administrative penalties, disposal fees and City response costs, which alone could be up to or exceed approximately $20,000 for very large responses involving multiple City departments.

The City will continue to provide ongoing enforcement of illegal firework activity in the weeks and days leading up to and including the Fourth of July weekend. Anyone cited or arrested for fireworks violations may be faced with a $1,000 fine, sentenced to jail for six months, or both. On June 15, the City Council unanimously approved an increased administrative penalty with recovery costs for illegal fireworks citations.

Reporting illegal firework activity by community members can contribute to the City’s enforcement efforts, and there are a few ways to report illegal firework usage and sales:

“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 anyone struck, and jail time for the offenders.

Driving and Pedestrian Safety
The Long Beach Police Department will have additional officers on patrol on July 4 to deter drivers from driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 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, as well as a suspended license. It is essential to plan ahead, designate a sober driver, or simply stay at home for the night 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 be avoided at all times.

Pedestrians should always maintain strict awareness of their surroundings, especially at night and when crossing streets, even when crossing in a marked crosswalk.

COVID-19 Safety
On June 15, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidance as the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system ended and the resumption of everyday activities and reopening of all businesses began. To align with the State, the City issued an updated Health Order in addition to guidance regarding other risk-reduction measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City continues to encourage community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine. For information on the City’s vaccination locations and hours of operation, go to longbeach.gov/vaxlb.

Recommendations for fun, safe ways residents and visitors can celebrate safely:

  • Host a fireworks-free backyard barbecue with close family and friends.
  • Host a virtual barbecue or party with those who are out of town.
  • Spend the day at the beach.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Have a water-balloon fight.
  • Enjoy a physically-distanced picnic in the park.
  • Host an outdoors movie marathon with friends or neighbors.
  • Have a backyard dance party with glow sticks or fiber optic wands. 

Additional safety recommendations for the holiday weekend:

  • Water Safety – Always supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present, and don’t 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.
  • Heat Exhaustion and Stroke – Be aware of signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 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.

Public Fireworks Shows and Events
The City is encouraging individuals to attend a local, professional fireworks show to safely celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. The City is encouraging individuals to attend a local, professional fireworks show to safely celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. This year, the Big Bang on the Bay fireworks show will take place on Saturday, July 3. The annual Fourth of July fireworks show, hosted this year by the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau and Harbor Breeze Cruise, will also make its return to the Long Beach waterfront on Sunday, July 4. The City anticipates the issuance of permits for permissible block parties over the Fourth of July weekend, including the recently passed plan by the City Council to waive the application fee if an applicant pledges that the party will be fireworks-free. 

The Long Beach Fire Department and Police Department have been educating the community about the fireworks for many years, and the City launched the Celebrate Safely campaign in 2019 to provide more information, resources and ongoing safety messaging for the Fourth of July holiday, in addition to several other holidays where illegal fireworks are often used in Long Beach. The campaign has since served as an ongoing platform to educate community members about the importance of participating in safe, family friendly activities. This year, the Celebrate Safely campaign has expanded its outreach efforts to include an expansive social media campaign, educational billboard signs, advertisements in print and digital media, community toolkits, participation at community meetings, and more. For more information, people may visit longbeach.gov/fireworks

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