The county is a "fireworks-free zone," which means the sale, possession or use of fireworks of all types and sizes is prohibited. That includes the so-called "safe and sane" variety. The ordinance also applies to unincorporated areas as well as the cities, said sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.
Deputy sheriffs and officers on patrol will confiscate all fireworks. Offenders could also face fines of up to $500. Possession of dangerous fireworks, like M-80s or cherry bombs, constitute a felony and could result in fines of up to $5,000 and imprisonment.
"We're beefing up patrols during the holiday weekend," Lee said. "They'll be very visible. We're also going to put up signs warning people about the dangers and consequences of violating the law."
Lee said that fireworks pose a serious danger and risk to people and property. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 10,000 emergency-room injuries association with fireworks were treated in 2004. Half of the victims were under 15 years of age.
"Instead of setting off fireworks," Lee said, "the sheriff's office is asking county residents to enjoy the numerous licensed fireworks displays throughout the Bay Area."