Celebrate July 4th Safely

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Fireworks cause an average of almost 18,500 reported fires per year.  On July 4th more fires are reported than any other day and fireworks account for more than ½ of them!
  • Fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars or even disfigurement or death.  The thousands of serious injuries each year typically harm the eyes, head or hands. 
  • Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.


Q: What types of fireworks are illegal in Ventura?

All types of fireworks are illegal in the City of Ventura. Some citizens and guests to our City are under the impression that because the City of Fillmore sells fireworks that it is okay to use them within the City of Ventura. All fireworks (including sparklers) are prohibited in nine of the 10 cities in Ventura County.  It is illegal to possess, store, sell, use, or handle any fireworks in the City of Ventura.

Fireworks purchased over the Internet are also illegal (not just in Ventura but throughout the State).
No fireworks

Q: Are consumer fireworks "safe and sane"? 

There is no such thing as safe fireworks, all ll fireworks are dangerous.

Fireworks and sparklers are designed to explode or produce showers of hot sparks with temperatures that may exceed 1200 degrees F. Sparklers burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

No one pyrotechnic material acts like another. Consumers assume that the material will act like the last firework ignited however, they are basically at risk for showers of sparks indiscriminately falling their way and possibly burning their skin or igniting their clothing.

Q: What happens if I break the law? 

Fireworks are illegal in the City of Ventura.

Under California Health and Safety Code Fireworks Penalties, Section 12700 states, “any person who violates any provision of the State Fireworks laws or Regulations is guilty of a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of not less than $500, but not to exceed $1,000 by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or both.”

Additionally, the City Council adopted a Fireworks Social Host Ordinance during its regular meeting on June 18, 2018.  Under the new ordinance, any homeowner, renter, or person in charge of a residence or other private property who knows or should know of the sale, use, and/or possession of any fireworks on private property are subject to a civil penalty levied by the City of Ventura.

The Social Host is responsible for the sale, use, and/or possession of fireworks on their property by anyone on their property. The ordinance pertains to any person who hosts, organizes, supervises, officiates, conducts, or accepts responsibility for a gathering on private property.

Violators in the city of Ventura can be reported online, by emailing video of the alleged use of fireworks to the Ventura Police Department. The Ventura Police will be sending out more information on the reporting process in the next week. 

Read the Administrative Report here.

Social Host Ordinance

Q. How has the extreme drought impacted wildfires? 

Extended drought conditions mean fire season is year-round. These conditions are expected to persist and fireworks, which are a significant ignition source for wildfires, will only exacerbate the situation.

Firefighters give their efforts in the following priority order: to protect life, property and the environment.  Please help us keep these priorities by being a responsible community member.  Avoid using fireworks.

Q. What will Ventura City Fire and Ventura Police Department do to keep our community safe?

Each 4th of July, our Fire and Police Departments respond to numerous calls for service regarding illegal use and possession of fireworks, medical emergencies, concerns about fire danger and noise complaints.  These calls limit public safety resources and can result in a response delay to emergency calls for service. 

Illegal use of fireworks is a serious safety concern, and Ventura police and fire departments will be patrolling neighborhoods throughout the city to keep citizens and their property safe.

Q. Where can I watch a professional fireworks show? 

We encourage you to enjoy one of the many approved and legal fireworks shows throughout Ventura County. The Ventura Rotary Club is hosting the 4th of July Fireworks Show and Family Picnic at Ventura College on July 4th.

For information on the 4th of July Street Fair and Pushem-Pullem Parade visit www.cityofventura.ca.gov/streetfairs.

Q: How can I prevent injuries and fires? 

People can enjoy fireworks safely if they follow a few simple safety tips:

•Be safe. If you want to see fireworks, go to a professional show put on by experts.

•Do not use consumer fireworks.

•Keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are used.

Please give children a consistent message year-round:  it is never okay to play with matches or to use fireworks.

Be considerate of your neighbors and their pets

Q: My pets are terrified of the crackle, pop and midnight mortars on July 4th. What can I do to keep them safe?

The Humane Society of the U.S. recommends protecting your pets on the 4th.  Here are some helpful reminders:

  • Keep your pets away from fireworks.   It’s best to leave your pets safely indoors; animals are often frightened by the noise.
  • If your pet is scared by fireworks, ask a veterinarian for help.  There are medications and techniques that might help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. 
  • Safeguard your pet with a collar and I.D. tag.  Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through window or door screens.
  • Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke.  Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the day doesn’t seem that warm.