Rules for Fireworks and Beaches in Pacifica on July 4

Pacifica, CA (STL.News) Every year, hundreds of visitors come to Pacifica to celebrate Independence Day on our beaches and at gatherings in our parks and neighborhoods.  The City of Pacifica and the Pacifica Police Department want residents and visitors alike to enjoy a safe holiday experience.  This year, we also want to encourage everyone to help stop the spread of COVID19 by physical distancing, wearing a face covering, washing hands, and limiting gatherings to only those allowed under the San Mateo County Health Order.

As in years past on July 4th, the Pacifica Police Department will continue to have zero tolerance when dealing with any law or municipal code violations and will have maximum staffing assigned to our neighborhoods, parks and beaches.

It is unlawful to discharge any “Safe and Sane” fireworks except during these designated hours; from 12:00 pm (noon) to 11:00 pm on June 28th, and between the hours of 9:00 am to 11:00 pm on June 29th through July 5th.  Violations of the Pacifica Municipal Code regulating the use of Safe and Sane fireworks will result in fines ranging from $200.00 for a first offense, $400.00 for a second offense, and $1,000.00 for a third offense.

The fine for possessing any illegal fireworks is $1,000.00. “Safe and Sane” (legal) fireworks can be identified by the seal of the California State Fire Marshall imprinted on the product.

Due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of the COVID19 virus, the City Manager has issued an Emergency Order that prohibits the discharge of Safe and Sane fireworks on the small portion of Linda Mar Beach where fireworks discharge is normally allowed.  In addition, under this Order, discharge of fireworks on any City owned parking lot is prohibited.  As has always been the case, fireworks discharge on all other Pacifica beaches is illegal.  We also remind everyone that alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all of our beaches.

In 2017, the Pacifica City Council adopted the Illegal Fireworks Social Host Ordinance in an attempt to curb the rampant use of illegal fireworks in Pacifica.  This ordinance was designed to hold responsible those hosting gatherings for any illegal firework activity on property they own or rent.  If officers see illegal fireworks being discharged from a property, the person responsible for the property will be subject to fine, regardless of who discharged the firework. The penalty for a violation of the Illegal Fireworks Social Host Ordinance is $1,000.

Additionally, if a minor is found discharging illegal fireworks, the person having care, custody or control of the minor is strictly liable for the illegal activity and subject to fine.

Chief Steidle said, “Illegal fireworks have long been a problem in Pacifica.  We hear each year from community members who prefer to leave town for the holiday rather than listen to the illegal firework activity in their neighborhoods.  Those who selfishly chose to discharge illegal fireworks show no regard for their fellow neighbors, veterans suffering from PTSD, and pets, all who are sensitive to the noise associated with this illegal activity.”

Illegal fireworks activity may be reported to the Pacifica Police Department by calling our nonemergency number at 650-738-7314.  We ask you to reserve 9-1-1 for reporting life or death emergencies.  To provide the police department with information anonymously about activity related to possession of illegal fireworks, you may call the Silent Witness Tip Line at 650-3594444.

All personnel from the Pacifica Police Department will be working on July 4th to help our residents and visitors celebrate Independence Day safely. The Pacifica Police Department asks you to celebrate Independence Day responsibly, and reminds those who permit the use of illegal fireworks on their property or at their social gatherings: “Host a Show, Pay the Dough!”