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

June 21, 2021 12:00 pm · 48 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.

bdml June 21, 2021 at 12:11 PM

YES absolutely!

Gr8scot June 21, 2021 at 12:12 PM

NO. Because the term “Safe and Sane” not only should apply to the fireworks but also to the user of them, which is NEVER going to happen.

ChuckStir June 21, 2021 at 5:17 PM

Gr8scot, you got that spot on.

The Observer June 21, 2021 at 12:15 PM

As dry as it is, and as much dead vegetation as we have, there aren’t any fireworks that count as “safe and sane” this year. Let’s just leave it to the homeless to start the fires this year.

Sancho Panza June 21, 2021 at 1:11 PM

I agree with your statement..dry days ahead make for another year of windows closed due to wildfires..not looking forward to that!

ChuckStir June 22, 2021 at 5:36 PM

You know The Observer, you are entirely correct. I have a friend who is a firefighter and he tells me most fires they get these days are caused by the homeless. To make matters even worse the police will not arrest them.

MattfromConcord June 21, 2021 at 12:17 PM


woody June 21, 2021 at 12:23 PM

Always thought so… then my neighbor set his lawn on fire a few years back with them.

Having a fire at your house kinda sucks.

Chuq June 21, 2021 at 2:52 PM

“Is it really the government’s job to legislate common sense?”

Yes. Think about speed limits and seatbelt laws. I imagine most people are sensible enough to know not to drive 80 mph through a residential area without seatbelts on but for those few people just wacky enough to want to try it we have laws in place to make the decision for them.

Ricardus June 21, 2021 at 6:40 PM

@Mike, okay then let’s get rid of the Fire Department too. Why is it the government’s job to fight fires? We all know people can’t police themselves.

Rolaids June 21, 2021 at 9:09 PM

Mike I think the difference is grills are specifically designed to safely contain burning material, where as fireworks are specifically designed to fly up in the air and explode burning material in all directions. I, too, used to think that it was a distinction without a difference, but I thought real hard on it for a really long time, and eventually I came around.

Mombearto4 June 23, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Mike – it is indeed the government’s job to legislate when it’s a matter of public safety. With things being so dry here in the summer, even the safe and sane ones are a fire hazard.

Gittyup June 21, 2021 at 12:26 PM

There is nothing safe and sane about fireworks except in the hands of a professional.

iK June 21, 2021 at 12:27 PM


Doh June 21, 2021 at 12:31 PM

Yes. They are also legal in Pacifica. When he lived there my brother and his neighbors had a show in the street. Someone kept a hose handy.

DD June 21, 2021 at 12:36 PM

The fireworks aren’t the problem, the idiots handling them is another story.

Zack June 21, 2021 at 12:38 PM

No. We are already up against a fire season that has started earlier not to mention a severe drought. Even sparklers can start a fast-spreading fire.

I think the “Safe & Sane” thing to do is leave the firework shows to the pros.

RANDOM TASK June 21, 2021 at 12:51 PM

not as much as felons being released by the demorat the newscum

or as much as yet another de slacker picnic to spread more dem propaganda

or binbiden telling a 9 year old girl she looks 19 with her ribbons in her hair

as above posted its not the fireworks its the user

which is ironic as dem voters want safe fireworks under the guise their safe right

yet we all know or at least common sense says no matter what you deem safe can always be used unsafe

and yet the same dem voters cry for the constitutional rights of everyone be violated because they reiterate what anti american dem politicians claim
that its the guns fault or the manufacturer

when in fact its the criminal who uses it and does sever harm because you took away everyones right to self defense

why do you think every country or terrorist group always attempts cowardly attacks and not one group has decided to walk the streets of america and demand our assimilation

because of the constitution that says we are armed and will defend
this is why china is buying dem politicians to take away the constitution right

you keep voting to allow china to destroy america
who do you think will aid you when china comes

binbiden lol
the weiner lol
de slacker lol
peelowski lol

welcome to your common sense lol

ChuckStir June 21, 2021 at 5:20 PM

“Who do you think will aid you when china comes”. Random Task, I was thinking maybe France.

parent June 21, 2021 at 12:58 PM


40+ years ago I remember setting them off in the street. Yeah, there were stupid people back then, but most people did not get bent out of shape if something did not go their way. There was no ‘my poor ears .. or my poor something or other …”, it was expected on the 4th of July to celebrate our nations INDEPENDENCE! But today … today, we have folks who are offended by our independence.

Maybe the state should consider providing us a safe space to set them off … hmm … that is a concept.

Cyn June 21, 2021 at 4:27 PM

Forget the state providing a safe space because God already did that……’s called the Pacific Ocean.

The Fat Cat June 21, 2021 at 5:02 PM

People are not offended by the independence of our nation from Britain – how many loyalists to the crown do you know in CCC? People are concerned for their homes during extreme drought and their pets’ well-being.

‘This is the way we have always done it’ is not, on its own, a good justification to continue doing something.

Gittyup June 21, 2021 at 7:55 PM

It is not that fireworks are “offensive.” They are an unnecessary fire hazard when shows conducted by professionals are available, as well as extensive television and virtual coverage.

parent June 21, 2021 at 8:06 PM

So Cyn
Why dont you go to the Pacific Ocean and be safe …

@Fat Cat
Wow … if you do not want to celebrate, then don’t. Yes, I will think you are offended by our independence celebration, but dont let that stop you.

“‘This is the way we have always done it’ is not, on its own, a good justification to continue doing something.” I would agree in many cases, but your concern for homes, pets etc .. sorry, if you dont like it, move. I hear the Pacific Ocean is safe.

On a serious note, where was this concern 40 years, 30 years or even 15 years ago .. no one was complaining about it, so what has changed? Have the pets changed? Have the homes? The home I live in has been here for 50+ years … probably safer today then it was when it was new …

So what has changed that we are now concerned enough that Fat Cats don’t like fireworks for your celebration? And why should everyone else cater to those feelings of yours … I know more people that want fireworks than dont.

Zack June 22, 2021 at 9:26 AM


Brush fire yesterday in Vallejo was likely from fireworks. What a neighbor had to say about the fire that destroyed 2 homes yesterday in Pleasant Hill injuring a firefighter…

“This house has been a issue on the block for quite some years so I don’t want to sound trite about it but I was expecting something like this to happen sooner than later.”

Neighbors said they frequently see fireworks shooting off from the property and there is often a police presence.

Why anyone would whine about their freedom to burn fireworks taken away vs wanting to keep their community safe is beyond me. It will cost you more than your freedom if you set off illegal fireworks and start a massive fire.

parent June 22, 2021 at 11:18 AM

@ Zack
Do you need any cheese with your wine?

Seriously, yes fireworks cause some fires. But does that mean we take it away from everyone?

If so, take away alcohol now, that kills more people and does far more damage to families. If so, take away fast food, think of the obesity! Better take away Home Depot and Lowes, cant have those non-contractor like people doing any type of work with lumber, or change a faucet or an outlet …might do it wrong and cause someone else harm.

We need repercussions for the individual(s) that made the bad decisions, but we should not take away something from everyone because a few can not behave.

Cyn June 23, 2021 at 9:20 AM

I used to live approx. 2 miles from the Pacific and that’s where we did our safe and sane fireworks every year. No need to be so testy.

Kentucky Derby June 21, 2021 at 1:23 PM

Professionals or very responsible people. But you can’t determine who is or isn’t responsible when you’re selling fireworks.

Mimi (original) June 21, 2021 at 1:43 PM

Absolutely NO!! Most of the folks who set off amateur fireworks truly ARE AMATEURS! Why risk have your fingers or hand blown off or losing your eyesight to a “Safe and Sane” firework?? They aren’t and neither are you!

slagheap June 21, 2021 at 1:57 PM

Of course not, this summer of all summers.

Old Timer June 21, 2021 at 1:59 PM

No fireworks what so ever.If you don’t have a pet you have no idea what it does to them.Also people have no respect for others and there property.It’s illegal in contra costa county and that’s that.So don’t be a law breaker.

parent June 21, 2021 at 3:09 PM

I have pets … guess what, I still think they are okay to use.

As for your illegal comment, did you read the question? The question is do you think it SHOULD be legal …

Elenora June 21, 2021 at 1:59 PM

No, I don’t. My dogs are traumatized every year by the sound of them.

Flapjack June 21, 2021 at 2:15 PM

They aren’t?

The Wizard June 21, 2021 at 2:19 PM


Randy June 21, 2021 at 2:37 PM

no way ….way too much of a fire hazard…. and …. too many people don’t practice good judgement when they use them anyway

Anonymous June 21, 2021 at 3:37 PM

Absolutely. We shot off fireworks for years in SoCal when I was young and never caused a fire. The next morning the street sweepers came and cleaned up the ashes (people cleaned up the spent fireworks themselves.) If you light off a firework in front of your house on the street, there is nothing to burn. Of course, skyrockets are a no-go. But the usual safe-and-sane stuff is perfectly safe.

Ricardoh June 21, 2021 at 4:29 PM

One excuse follows another and eventual everything is taken away. People get used to not lighting fireworks, avoid getting cancelled and not telling anymore Polish jokes. Life is going to get boring and eventually no one notices.

hanne jeppesen June 21, 2021 at 8:40 PM

Ricardo, There is a big difference between jokes and fireworks. First of all I enjoy a good joke, even some that are not that clean, and they don’t have to be political correct. If someone is offended by a joke they can walk away, not so with fireworks especially if they start fires.

Ricardoh June 22, 2021 at 8:57 AM

Hanne Read my first sentence. Anyway because some people have no common sense banning fireworks for everyone is the logical thing to do. That is what will happen with everything.

Lazy One June 21, 2021 at 4:30 PM

NO! Not this year. It is too dry. It only takes a spark to set the hills on fire. Use some common sense.

ChuckStir June 21, 2021 at 5:16 PM

When it comes to fire hazard there is no such thing as safe, sane yes but not safe. The really reason it is not safe is these fire works get into the hands of irresponsible people. When I was younger I used Safe and Sane fireworks, nowhere near flamables and had a hose ready to go because of best laid plans things can still go wrong.

Steve June 21, 2021 at 6:09 PM

Fireworks sales to the public is a thing of the past. They don’t call it FIREworks for nothing.

Cautiously Informed June 21, 2021 at 7:50 PM

What it boils down to is the following: Anything and everything can be dangerous and or hazardous when in the hands of an idiot.

hanne jeppesen June 22, 2021 at 11:50 AM

Of course those who say it is the idiots handling the fireworks that is the problem, are right. However, as we saw yesterday with the fire in Vallejo, if something goes wrong, often it is innocents who suffers the damage. Whatever anyone might feel about fireworks, freedom etc, is it really worth the risk?

Chicken Little June 22, 2021 at 1:28 PM

I have a question. When did it turn into July 4th season instead of just July 4th? I can deal with the terrified dogs and the fire danger for one night a year, but every night for two months is ridiculous. It’s like people are trying to reenact the entire Revolutionary War or something.

mohairs June 22, 2021 at 2:04 PM

Someone near our house thinks that “unsafe and insane” fireworks are legal and enjoyable every night… They are very loud. 🙁 And I feel sorry for all the poor animals (domestic and wild) who get really scared.

Chicken Little June 22, 2021 at 8:30 PM

I feel your pain. Sounds like we live in the same ‘hood.

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