Area officials are asking residents to proceed with caution during the Fourth of July, and encouraging people to enjoy fireworks at a professional public display, rather than toy with fireworks themselves, as they can cause serious injuries as well as serious fires.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 10,800 people treated for firework-related injuries in emergency rooms in 2005, with the majority of them related to the July 4 holiday. More than half of the incidents involved children or teenagers, and sparklers accounted for nearly half of the injuries to children five-years and under.
Fireworks are illegal in Goleta, Buellton and Solvang, in addition to all the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County. Anyone caught using or possessing fireworks could be fined up to $1,000 and/or spend up to a year in jail. Fireworks – even the safe and sane types – are also banned from Los Padres National Forest as part of the park’s fire restrictions.
“Anyone who starts a fire, or whose children start a fire, can be held liable for fire suppression and property damage costs resulting from the use of fireworks,” according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department Captain Eli Iskow.
A professional fireworks display will be held in the city of Santa Barbara at around 9 p.m. on July 4 off of Stearns Wharf.