PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

7/5/2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 070519
Subject:
Fireworks Enforcement and 4th of July in Long Beach
Contact:
Kevin Lee
Public Affairs Officer
City Manager’s Office
562.570.6811
Kevin.Lee@longbeach.gov




The City of Long Beach encouraged all residents and visitors to celebrate the 4th of July safely. Ahead of the holiday celebrating our nation’s independence, the City undertook a comprehensive campaign, Celebrate Safely, to educate the public about the hazards of fireworks as well as the consequences of setting off fireworks illegally. Beginning in May and leading into July 4, a total of nearly 1,000 social media posts and shares using the hashtag #CelebrateSafelyLB were made on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The combined reach for all posts was 6.9 million. Celebrate Safely Public Service Announcements were shown at Movies in the Park from June 27 through July 3, with an approximate reach of 3,000 additional residents. Billboards and other signage were on display on major thoroughfares and 1,000 lawn signs were distributed for residents’ use. Celebrate Safely coloring and activity sheets were disseminated to about 5,000 children through Parks, Recreation and Marine, and also were available online at the City’s new fireworks information hub, www.longbeach.gov/fireworks.

Hundreds of thousands of people, including residents and visitors, celebrated Independence Day in our city. Long Beachers had an opportunity to view a professional fireworks show over Alamitos Bay on July 3 and a second professional fireworks show over the historic Queen Mary on July 4. Neighborhood groups hosted block parties, bike parades and picnics all throughout the city. The city’s coastline was filled with visitors from across Long Beach and around the world. Visitors arrived in the morning, and stayed until well past dark, enjoying the fireworks display off the Queen Mary.

All available public safety personnel were on duty, as thousands of people flocked to the City’s beaches and parks. Lifeguards responded to emergencies including swim and boat rescues. This year, Long Beach Lifeguards made 120 water rescues along the oceanfront, Bayshore, Marina Park and the Colorado Lagoon on July 4.

The City takes seriously the job of enforcing the Long Beach Fireworks Ordinance. This year, nearly 10,000 pounds of fireworks were recovered by Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) investigators and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) during peak firework season (between May 25, the start of Memorial Day weekend, and July 4, 2019). These fireworks were confiscated by the LBFD Investigations Team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Arson Unit Task Force for safe disposal through the State of California, Fire Marshal’s Office. Separately, LBPD investigations resulted in eight arrests and 30 citations in the weeks leading up to Independence Day. On July 4, police enforcement resulted in six felony arrests, 11 misdemeanor arrests and 36 fireworks-related citations.

From July 1 through July 4, there were 639 fireworks-related calls to the City’s Dispatch Center, whereas last year there were 979 fireworks-related calls; this represents a 35 percent decrease. For the 24-hour period of July 4, the Dispatch Center handled 3,525 total calls (9-1-1 and the non-emergency line), and 765 calls-for-service. In comparison, on an average day, the Dispatch Center will handle approximately 2,500 calls (both 9-1-1 and the non-emergency line), and about 600 calls-for-service. Staffing in the Dispatch Center from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm was increased by 30 percent for the anticipated increase in call volume. During the peak time of 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., the Dispatch Center received 338 combined calls (an average of 7.5 calls per minute).

Fireworks noise creates panic for many animals, filling animal care shelters fill with runaway pets every year. Annually, the City encourages pet owners to put ID tags on their pets and keep pets inside over the holiday. Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) gave out 133 free pet tags between June 14 and July 4. ACS also promoted its Foster the 4th campaign, connecting shelter dogs with foster families. Fostering animals over the holiday helps make room for dogs brought to the shelter on July 4. In total, 58 shelter dogs spent their 4th of July holiday with foster families.

Amateur fireworks, including sparklers, cause tens of millions of dollars annually in property damage, and result in many injuries, the majority of which are suffered by children. Fireworks set off in residential neighborhoods, particularly those that the neighborhood isn’t anticipating, can trigger flashbacks for veterans and gun violence survivors experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Celebrate Safely campaign advocated for alternative activities, such as having a barbeque, visiting a State or National Park, hosting a movie marathon or visiting a professional fireworks show. Several components of the campaign were available in languages other than English, such as Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog.

The City will continue to encourage residents to Celebrate Safely throughout the year and remind residents that fireworks are illegal in Long Beach.

About the City of Long Beach

Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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