The sale of fireworks has been an annual tradition in Newark for decades, and those brightly decorated sales booths are easy to spot around town.
The Alameda County Fire Department has inspected nine of 10 fireworks booths and signed off for sales to begin Tuesday at noon, according to department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles. The final booth will be inspected today (Wednesday), she said.
Each booth will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. through July 4. The use of Safe and Sane Fireworks in Newark are only permitted through July 4, Knowles said.
Booths can be found in the parking lots of Mowry Crossing by , the Lido Faire Shopping Center, Rosemont Square, , , and near at and off Thornton Avenue and Cedar Boulevard.
Newark is one of only three Alameda County cities permitted to sell and use fireworks designated as "safe." Union City and Dublin are the other cities allowed to sell and use fireworks. South of Milpitas, fireworks are sold legally and used in and Watsonville.
The booths selling fireworks in Newark benefit non-profit organizations such as the , the Newark Optimist Club, Latinos Unidos de Newark and other local non-profits.
The city of Newark has sold fireworks for decades and while the city had allowed the use of fireworks at parks in the past, all parks will be closed during this July 4 holiday because shutting them down has been found to be “more effective as far as policing illegal fireworks,” said Mayor David Smith.
“We encourage their use by families at their homes,” Smith added.
The City of Dublin has designated three parks where the use of "safe and sane" fireworks will be permitted between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. only on July 4. The parks include , and .
Commander Robert Douglas of the Newark Police Department, like Alameda County Fire Department, said the department has a “Zero Tolerance for Illegal Fireworks.”
According to a press release from the Alameda County Fire Department, "any firework that flies in the air, darts across the ground or explodes is considered illegal in California. If it doesn't have the California State Fire Marshal seal on the packaging, it's illegal. The Fire Department utilizes fire investigators to aggressively enforce fireworks laws."
“The Newark Police Department will aggressively enforce all fireworks laws,” he wrote in an email to Patch.
Douglas added that while Safe and Sane Fireworks are legal to possess and use within city limits, they are only permitted from midnight on June 20 to midnight on July 4.
“Remember the use of legal fireworks should not be used in public parks or on private property. Please respect the property rights of others,” he said.
Douglas – as well as city officials – are urging for individuals to take precaution during the holiday weekend.
“Enjoy the celebration of Independence and the use of legal fireworks, but please look after the little ones. Please be responsible and supervise children around fireworks,” Douglas said.
City councilman Al Huezo said at the council’s June 23 meeting that he hopes Newark residents behave and practice being safe and sane when it comes to using fireworks.
Common Illegal Fireworks:
- Cherry bombs
- Roman candles
- Silver Salutes
- M-80s, M-100s
- Bottle rockets
- Aerial shells/mortars
Source: California Fire Marshal