The Water Cooler – Should “Safe & Sane” Fireworks Be Allowed In Contra Costa County?

July 3, 2020 12:30 pm · 32 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

QUESTION: Do you think “safe & sane” fireworks should be legal in Contra Costa County, like they are in Alameda County (City of Dublin), as long as the person only uses it at his/her private residence?

Talk about it.

Ricardoh July 3, 2020 at 12:36 PM

Not on my block. I am not against the fireworks just the fires. If it wasn’t for the chance of burning down the neighborhood I would be out there with Roman Candles.

Dorothy July 3, 2020 at 12:40 PM

And who is going to make sure they are only used at private residences? Would that include connected apartment and townhouses?

Anonymous July 3, 2020 at 12:50 PM

I would say YES. As long as it’s not a skyrocket or something like that. We had fireworks all over the San Gabriel Valley when I was a kid. They were legal in every city, IIRC. Open space was limited where we lived (but close by), so the only danger was burns. We set them off in front of our house for almost 20 years. Never had a problem. They had the street sweapers come the following day to clean the burnt remains from the gutter.

I see kids setting off professional-level fireworks here every year. Skyrockets not unlike what the pros use. Is this safer? Perhaps if they could buy safe and sane fireworks locally they would not feel the need to go to Oakland and SF’s Chinatown for stuff that is actually dangerous?

But that would make too much sense.

Mac Rofales July 3, 2020 at 12:51 PM

“Safe and Sane” only refers to their ability to cause bodily injury. Any firework can spark a grass fire, same is true for cigarettes.

Martinezmike July 3, 2020 at 2:02 PM

No. Instead of firecrackers people should jump on bubble wrap. Cellphones can provide virtual fireworks.

MoJo July 3, 2020 at 12:55 PM

Nope. The fireworks may be safe and sane but clearly many of the people that use them are not.

JJ July 3, 2020 at 12:57 PM

Define ‘safe’ and ‘sane’.

Cowellian July 3, 2020 at 1:02 PM

Oh, you mean angry incense?

AnimalLover July 3, 2020 at 1:10 PM

Only if we apply the NNDS (new normal double standard). In other words, (and this was iterated by drooling county officials) fireworks allowed only if the following criteria is met:

“Fireworks allowed only if they are illegal and sold as such by youths wearing social justice tee shirts while screaming and chanting liberal mantra.”

“Fireworks not allowed if used by legal, employed, taxpayers with moral standards and family values UNLESS they support the above mentioned criteria.”

FPN July 3, 2020 at 2:48 PM

AnimalLover. Well said!

Mac N Cheese July 3, 2020 at 1:15 PM

No. During the month leading up to the 4th of July there are lots of people in my neighborhood who think nothing of lighting off fireworks any night of the week, and anytime if night. Sometimes it’s like a warzone. If fireworks were made legal it would only get worse. With the high fire danger we always seem to face each summer it seems like common sense that legalizing fireworks is a bad idea.

Andy July 3, 2020 at 1:32 PM

I love fireworks. I wish we could have them here but Contra Costa is a tinderbox.

Rhett Butler July 3, 2020 at 1:53 PM

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!

Antler July 3, 2020 at 2:08 PM

NO! ….. and ESPECIALLY not in residential neighborhoods!

Sparkle July 3, 2020 at 2:11 PM


National Fire Protection Association flatly states: “safe and sane” fireworks are neither. Sparklers throw off showers of hot sparks, and their temperatures can exceed 1200º F.

Kirkwood July 3, 2020 at 2:43 PM

So don’t touch them after they are lit.

Kirkwood July 3, 2020 at 2:23 PM

Yes for safe and sane fireworks which you usually see in family groups, in streets and driveways. Their mindsets are different than the ones who set off mortars and bottle rockets. If older kids blow off fingers or hands, that’s their problem. You can’t protect people from themselves.

Foonman July 3, 2020 at 2:27 PM

NO SUCH safe and sane in this Diablo valley. As posted above, too dry and can’t afford to lose my house…by some punk that get careless.

MattfromConcord July 3, 2020 at 2:56 PM

Yes. Make the buyer get a permit.
If you start a fire then you pay for the damage.
Not sure how I could start a grass fire on my asphalt street in front of my house.
If it’s windy, no safe & sane fireworks.

Foonman July 3, 2020 at 8:39 PM

Perhaps we need a law that states, You must show valid proof of l
liability insurance for 10 million, before you can pick you fireworks?
Once the police dept has verified your policy is in effect, you can pick up your ordered fireworks. Just like the pros….

FPN July 3, 2020 at 3:01 PM

My neighbors are crazy and neither safe or sensible. No no no to fireworks. My neighbor was trying to get rid of his side yard knee high foxtails with what he called a controlled burn. Right next to my other neighbors hugh pine tree. My neighbor had a lighter and a hose. It was 95 degrees out with a slight breeze. Scariest thing I have witnessed in awhile. So again no no no my neighbors are not sensible enough.

Walter July 3, 2020 at 3:50 PM

As much as I love fireworks, There’s already been too many fires this year in our area caused by them, and its not even the 4th yet. I’m gonna sadly say it’s a no imo for residential areas. Pity you cant go to a big paved parking lot somewhere, buy them, fire them off and leave.. but people probably would not honor those kind of restrictions.

Senior July 3, 2020 at 5:21 PM

No, not the way people use fireworks and have been using the last couple of months. Fireworks terrorize pets (more pets run away on the 4th of July
than any other day.)
Plus, what is sane about playing with fireworks in this tinderbox we call California? It’s insane.
Even more insane is there is a shortage of fireworks because of all the morons who have spent the last couple of months annoying and waking up the rest of us with fireworks.
Nothing positive about letting the irresponsible endanger the rest of us.

Kirkwood July 4, 2020 at 10:34 AM

Make sure your nervous, shaky little dog is wearing a Thunder Shirt. There are also calming meds available.

larry July 3, 2020 at 5:27 PM

Hell No, watch fire works on t.v. like the yule log at Christmas time because we can’t have a fire in a fireplace.

ChuckStir July 3, 2020 at 8:51 PM

No, unfortunately too many irresponsible kids and adults as well.

Dk July 3, 2020 at 10:04 PM

I think many people are miss understanding safe and sane!

Although the definition may vary state-to-state, “Safe and Sane” fireworks are those that are neither projectile nor explosive. … A “Safe and Sane” firework assortment package will probably consist mostly of fountains and ground items, omitting the rockets, missiles, and other explosives.

Caskydiver July 4, 2020 at 7:43 AM

REAL fireworks should be legal, too…
“safe and sane” is another nanny state invention.

Frambley1 July 4, 2020 at 10:46 AM

I have asked this on here before. Does Dublin have more fires around the 4th of July than we do? Also, how many fires in Dublin (if any) are caused by the use of Safe and Sane fireworks each year? It should be a simple question to answer for someone with access to the data.

Sparkler July 4, 2020 at 2:21 PM

I feel that if firework shows would stop getting taken away due to money and people had somewhere to go and watch them people wouldn’t need to do them in neighborhoods. But every year they are canceling shows around the Bay Area so what do they think is going to happen? I remember when the firework shows would be in Martinez at the Marina, Pleasant Hill at College Park, and Concord by Concord High school. I don’t think any of these shows are happening anymore. For sure not this year. Happy 4th of July. Be safe and sane.

JuiceBox July 4, 2020 at 10:06 PM


Ilovepopcorn July 5, 2020 at 6:28 AM

I have always thought we are way too populated with people and their pets to have fireworks. They are not safe or sane. Especially since we have climate change which makes us even more vulnerable for fires. My final answer is: NO! They are dangerous. Some people are very careless with the ignition of these fireworks and also cause disasters.

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