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San Mateo, CA Police Department
Monday June 28th, 2021 :: 01:34 p.m. PDT


Stay Safe this Fourth of July Weekend – Fireworks are Illegal in the City of San Mateo and there will be Zero Tolerance

SMPD reminds our citizens that all fireworks, even “Safe & Sane” fireworks are illegal within San Mateo’s city limits. Fireworks will be confiscated, and citations will be issued to violators. 
San Mateo, CA – The City of San Mateo’s Police Department, in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department and San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department, would like to wish you and your family a safe Independence Day! COVID-19 is still a real threat to our community, but with the State’s reopening plan, we know there is a desire to get out there and enjoy the holiday weekend. We urge you celebrate this patriotic holiday safely, and without the use of fireworks.  
Most firework shows throughout the area have been cancelled and while we know that is unfortunate, we ask that you don’t take lighting fireworks into your own hands. ALL fireworks, even those considered “Safe & Sane,” are illegal within the city limits. SMPD takes a ZERO TOLERANCE approach to enforcement and will be issuing citations to those caught with them. Parents are also liable for any damage or injuries caused by your children using fireworks. The few minutes of entertainment is not worth the hefty $1,000 citation, and/or jailtime, or the lasting damage/injury they may cause. 
Fireworks pose an extreme fire risk, and our State is facing an exceptionally high fire danger. Just one spark from a firework could set off an enormous blaze, taxing the already limited resources we have. Many parts of California are experiencing severe drought conditions and our public safety partners in fire service have already battled so many large fires, so let’s give them a break. In addition, the stress of COVID-19 has shown tensions are high, so it is no surprise the sound of fireworks is putting many on edge. Fireworks are exceedingly disruptive to our neighbors including children, the elderly, veterans, those with PTSD, and pets. Let’s respect our environment and our neighbors.  
City Fourth of July Concert and Evening Park Closures: 
On the Fourth of July, the Parks and Recreation Department will host a concert in Central Park from noon to 2 p.m. Beginning at 11:45a.m the National Anthem and a “Thank You” to Essential Workers will kick-off the event. To discourage the use of illegal fireworks, the City will also close numerous parking lots beginning at 6 p.m. including Seal Point Park, Ryder Park, Parkside Aquatic Park, and Washington Park. They will be barricaded and patrolled. For more information on our Parks:
Reporting Illegal Fireworks: 
July 4th tends to be an extremely busy night for law enforcement and reports of illegal fireworks have already begun. If you hear them, rest assured we hear them too. Reporting instances with limited information makes it difficult to determine a location, so call us only if you can provide specifics. 
Please use our non-emergency Dispatch number at (650) 522-7700 to report fireworks and not 9-1-1 unless an emergency is involved. To be enforceable, an officer must witness the violation. Our department will be conducting high-visibility patrols and enforcement throughout the city and respond to complaints. Officers will take appropriate enforcement action.  
We ask for the community’s cooperation to ensure the Fourth of July is a peaceful one for all our residents. On behalf of the City of San Mateo, your police officers, firefighters, and park rangers, we wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July! Stay Safe.
There are numerous Municipal Codes, Health & Safety Codes, and Penal Codes applicable to the use/possession/sale of fireworks, however, we’ve highlighted some more common ones below.
San Mateo Municipal Code 10.20.020 – Sale and Use of Fireworks Prohibited
San Mateo Municipal Code 10.20.030 – Fireworks Seizure
San Mateo Administrative Citation 13.20.010(c) – Prohibited Conduct – Possess, exhibit, or use firearm, air guns, slingshots, firecrackers, fireworks, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, or weapons of any sort designed or used to harm another. $100 fine.
12305 HS – Possession of Explosives (felony)
12677 HS – Possession of Dangerous Fireworks (misdemeanor)

San Mateo, CA Police Department
200 Franklin Pkwy
San Mateo, CA 94403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-522-7700

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