Brentwood, CA – Supervisor Diane Burgis introduced a revised Countywide Fireworks Ordinance regulating the possession, manufacture, sale, use, and discharge of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County.
“Illegal fireworks are a drain on our system,” said Supervisor Burgis. “We simply don’t have the resources to address this continued problem. I would encourage cities and towns to adopt stronger ordinances and send the message that illegal fireworks will not be tolerated in Contra Costa County.”
The Sheriff and fire departments in the County receive numerous calls for service each year stemming from illegal fireworks, including calls to address vegetation fires, structure and exterior fires, personal injury or death, and noise or other public nuisances.
“Illegal fireworks in our county continually pose a threat to the safety of our communities,” said Fire Chief Brian Helmick. “On behalf of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, we would like to thank Supervisor Burgis for taking these necessary actions to curb the use of illegal fireworks and for helping to protect all citizens who have been impacted by illegal fireworks.”
The proposed ordinance would amend Chapter 44-2 and authorize the Sheriff to arrest and cite a responsible party, as defined in the ordinance, for violations of Chapter 44-2. The proposed ordinance establishes that a responsible party is required to maintain, manage, and supervise the property or vessel for which they are responsible to prevent violations of Chapter 44-2.
A responsible party is liable and violates the prohibition on fireworks under Chapter 44-2 if any person possesses, manufactures, sells, offers to sell, uses, or discharges, any fireworks at the property, or on the vessel, for which the responsible party is responsible, regardless of whether the responsible party is present when the violation occurs.
The proposed ordinance defines a responsible party as any of the following: 1. A person that owns, rents, leases, or otherwise has possession of, or is in immediate control of, a residence or other private property or a vessel. 2. A person that organizes, supervises, sponsors, conducts, allows, controls, or controls access to, the possession, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, or discharge of fireworks at a residence or other private property or on a vessel.
If a residence or other private property is rented or leased for more than 30 consecutive days, the landlord or lessor is not a responsible party unless the landlord or lessor: has possession of, or is in immediate control of, the residence or other private property; or has knowledge of the possession, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, or discharge of fireworks at the residence or other private property. The owner of a residence that is rented for 30 consecutive days or less (a short-term rental) is a responsible party and is liable for violations of Chapter 44-2 if the short-term renter, or any other person, possesses, manufactures, sells, offers to sell, uses, or discharges, any fireworks at the residence, regardless of whether the owner of the short-term rental is present when the violation occurs.