GROVER BEACH, CA – The City of Grover Beach recently adopted an ordinance amendment, effective June 18, 2020 which restricts the public discharge period for legal “Safe and Sane” fireworks to July 4 between 10am and 10pm. “Safe and Sane” fireworks are those that are neither 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. The Grover Beach Municipal Code previously identified a longer period for legal discharge of fireworks around the Fourth of July and New Year holidays.
“This ordinance amendment strikes a balance between allowing the safe enjoyment of fireworks during reasonable hours on the Fourth of July holiday, and minimizing impacts on nearby residents and pets,” said John Peters, Grover Beach Chief of Police. “Community compliance will help to ensure that our public safety personnel are available to effectively address any situation that should arise from using illegal fireworks,” Chief Peters continued, adding that the Grover Beach Police Department receives an average of 40 calls for service regarding illegal use of fireworks each July. The illegal discharge of fireworks in San Luis Obispo County may result in misdemeanor violation with up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Residents heading out to purchase fireworks this year should also expect modified protocols at fireworks stands in compliance with COVID-19 public health guidelines. Lines will be formed with a minimum of six (6) feet of distance between each patron. Volunteers and staff will be required to wear face coverings, and residents are encouraged to wear face coverings in all public settings to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
During July 4 celebrations, residents may gather only with members of their household or in physically distanced groups of no more than ten (10) people. Modifications to July 4 celebrations have also been implemented in neighboring Arroyo Grande, which has placed restrictions on the fireworks public discharge period consistent with those in Grover Beach. The discharge of fireworks is prohibited in both cities except between 10am and 10pm on July 4.
“Both Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande are served by the Five Cities Fire Authority, and the new ordinance aligning the ‘Safe and Sane’ legal discharge period between the two cities will make enforcement easier for everyone,” said Stephen Lieberman, Five Cities Authority Fire Chief.
Chief Lieberman reminds residents that safety protocols should always be observed while handling fireworks. Fireworks should be ignited one at a time, with safe distance maintained after lighting. Only adults and older children under adult supervision should handle or ignite fireworks. Fireworks should never be pointed or thrown at another person and users should watch out for nearby pedestrians and vehicles. Buckets of water should always be kept on hand in case of firework malfunction or accident. Spent or unused fireworks should be soaked in water for a few hours before discarding.
“Compliance with safety protocols and observation of the new public discharge period will mitigate wildfire risk, reduce the impact on noise-sensitive community members and animals, and help to facilitate an enjoyable holiday by our community members,” said Matthew Bronson, Grover Beach City Manager.