City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
Long Beach, CA – The winter holidays are a time of joyous celebrations, beloved traditions, and long-awaited gatherings with family and friends. As the Christmas and New Year’s holidays quickly approach, the City of Long Beach is offering the following tips to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
The holidays are typically spent in close, indoor gatherings, including visits with different generations. To ensure everyone remains healthy, the City’s Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) urges everyone to become vaccinated and get their boosters if eligible, and encourages the community to celebrate the holidays in ways that help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission:
More than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles and more than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. To prevent these holiday hazards, follow the below tips to ensure a safe, fire-free holiday:
Driving and Pedestrian Safety
The City encourages everyone to remain safe while on the road and out and about this holiday season and urges drivers, pedestrians and all commuters to practice safe, responsible behavior.
Distracted driving, identified as anything that takes one’s eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel, poses a serious threat to people’s safety and should always be avoided. Pedestrians and bicyclists should also maintain strict awareness of their surroundings, especially at night and when crossing streets, even when crossing in a marked crosswalk.
In Long Beach, DUI-related traffic collisions claimed the lives of nine people in 2019 and 14 people in 2020. The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) will have additional officers on patrol through the end of the holiday season 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 and a suspended license. It is essential for everyone’s safety to plan ahead, designate a sober driver, or simply stay at home for the night.
Preventing Package Thefts
The LBPD is providing the following tips to help keep your holiday packages safe:
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 and can result in serious fines.
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 City’s enhanced fireworks ordinance, passed earlier this year by the Long Beach City Council, increases the scope of liability and associated penalties, ranging upwards of $20,000 in fines. In order to deter illegal firework activity, the City will provide ongoing enforcement of illegal firework activity in the weeks and days leading up to and including the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weekends. Anyone cited or arrested for fireworks violations may be faced with a $1,000 fine, sentenced to jail for six months, or both.
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.
Celebrating safely can help achieve a safe Long Beach for all.
Media inquiries may be directed to the Office of Public Affairs and Communications at 562.570.6397 or LongBeachMedia@longbeach.gov