As dusk falls each year on Fourth of July, the high-pitched squeal and boom of fireworks go off in scattered intervals throughout the night.
While fireworks are synonymous with the July Fourth holiday, they are illegal in Los Angeles County.
But that hasn’t stopped many Glendora residents from purchasing their illegal fireworks from neighboring Azusa and setting them off in various areas around Glendora during the holiday.
This year, the city has adopted a new municipal code banning all types of fireworks in Glendora, including “safe and sane” fireworks – or fireworks that do not fly or explode.
In the past, Glendora used the Los Angeles County fireworks code, but now Glendora Police can cite and prosecute violators with the city’s own code.
Violations of the city code can land an offender with a misdemeanor charge punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, or jail time up to six months.
There is good reason for the ban, said Police Chief Rob Castro. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 9,000 firework-related injuries in 2009.
“The good news is that these fires and injuries are preventable, if people comply with local laws prohibiting the use of fireworks,” Castro said in a statement.
According to Castro, most people set off fireworks along the border of the city near LA County unincorporated areas and the city of Azusa.
But the continued use of fireworks keeps Glendora Police busy from dusk until dawn on July Fourth.
From 5:30 p.m. on July 4, 2010 until 5:30 a.m. the next morning, Glendora Police responded to 59 fireworks complaint calls, wrote two misdemeanor citations for possession of dangerous fireworks and seized 29 dangerous fireworks and 95 fireworks designated as “safe and sane.”
No fatalities, injuries or damaged property were reported that night.
Although Glendora officers will closely patrol areas for violators, it is often difficult to catch the perpetrators, said Castro.
According to reports, the Animal Control Office also reports high volumes of calls on July Fourth from owners whose pets have run away, scared of the loud noises caused by the fireworks.
Castro said Glendora Police are urging residents to remember that fireworks are illegal in Glendora by placing decal signs on their patrol cars as a reminder in the days leading up to the holiday.
Castro said Glendora Mountain Road will also be closed July 4 to reduce the risk of foothill fires.
To report the use of fireworks in your area, call the Glendora Police Department at 626-914-8250.a