Ask the County Law Librarian – Fireworks Stands
I was surprised recently to come home to a fireworks stand in a parking lot adjacent to my house. I feel that it is too close for safety. What are the laws in the city of Sacramento for fireworks stands?
Thanks for reading and submitting your question! Late June, fireworks stands start appearing seemingly overnight and appear on almost every street corner. Before the individual or organization can set up a fireworks stand in the City of Sacramento, they must first apply for a Permit to Sell Safe and Sane Fireworks. All applicants must provide the city with a public liability policy in the amount of $50,000 and a $25,000 property damage policy and a products liability policy in the amount of $300,000 showing the City of Sacramento as additional insured thereunder.
California has a “State Fireworks Law” that can be found in the Health and Safety Code, Section 12500 – 12728, but it mostly discusses general provisions, definitions, and the classification of fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices. For the answer to your question, we need to look within the ordinances for the City of Sacramento, specifically chapter 8.48.130 which discusses temporary fireworks stands. According to this section, “No fireworks shall be located within twenty-five (25) feet of any other building or within one hundred (100) feet of any gasoline pump or distribution point”. So depending on how close the stand is to your house, there may be a potential violation.
There are other requirements necessary for a fireworks stand, including the number of required exits, two unless the stand is longer than 40 feet, or maintaining two fire extinguishers that are in good working order and easily accessible for use in case of fire. Of course, “No Smoking” signs are to be prominently displayed on the fireworks stand. If you think your fireworks stand is in violation of any of these laws, you can contact your local fire department; chapter 8.48.150 states the fire chief or the chief’s designee may revoke the permit immediately if it is determined there is a violation.
Even though a fireworks stand can be an eyesore, often it is the number one fundraising tool for most non-profit organizations. The stand should be disassembled and removed no later than July 20th.
Do you have a question for the County Law Librarian? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org. If your question is selected your answer will appear in next Thursday’s column. Even if your question isn’t selected, though, I will still respond within two weeks.