With the Fourth of July days away, temperatures rising, and heightened concerns that Los Angeles is poised to experience one of the worst fire seasons yet, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas’ motion to direct the Fire and Police Departments, in coordination with the City’s Information and Technology Agency, to report back on setting up a system to track and respond to fireworks complaints through a mobile application that would issue automatic violations. A similar program has been established in the County of San Bernardino.
“The bottom line has to be safety. The use of illegal fireworks poses a threat to Angelenos. We must get creative, and we must make it easy to identify illegal fireworks use and establish sufficient repercussions to curb this activity. Too many of our neighbors are literally playing with fire, and the results can be lethal,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas.
This year, for many, the Fourth of July will be a much welcomed reunion of family and friends, following a long and unprecedented pandemic that has forced many to curb social activities. But for years, illegal fireworks have been a community nuisance, and the activity has appeared to have increased during the pandemic. The violent noise and glaring effects of illegal fireworks cannot only cause trauma, but also create a grave fire risk and take a toll on animals.
“The Mid-City and historic West Adams neighborhoods have long faced the issues and impending danger associated with the rampant use of illegal fireworks. This is a major concern in our community that we do not want to see fall through the cracks. We hope that Councilmember Ridley-Thomas’ and the City Council’s leadership in moving forward these efforts to enable reporting and tracking for illegal fireworks usage will ensure safety in our communities in the Tenth District and beyond,” said West Adams resident, Donna Jones.
"The Fire Department is supportive of all programs which can significantly reduce the risk of injury and potential fires from the use of illegal fireworks," said Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. "Councilmember Ridley-Thomas' motion is innovative and I look forward to collaborating with the Police Department, the City Council, and other city departments in this endeavor."
“As we come together this Fourth of July weekend, I would like to urge my fellow Angelenos to celebrate safely, without the use of illegal fireworks. We all must do our part,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas. “With this new reporting technology that is currently being employed in San Bernardino County, residents can anonymously report the use and sales of illegal fireworks through an online portal that can help Fire Department officials better track activities and identify violators. We must quickly adopt proven strategies to help curb this issue now, and for good.”
To anonymously report illegal fireworks, please call (877) 275-5273. To report a fire, call 911.