Jun 28, 2013 7:11 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News
The Fourth of July is not until next Thursday, but you may be hearing and seeing fireworks this weekend.
That's because Safe and Sane fireworks stands open today in cities across the Central Coast.
Although they are legal to use in several communities, there are rules you must follow.
Safe and Sane fireworks are novelty fireworks like sparklers and ground spinners.
They are sold at stands run by local non-profits to help raise money for their activities.
These fireworks stands don't sell anything that travels through the air and explodes because they are illegal.
Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc and Arroyo Grande are a few cities that allow Safe and Sane fireworks, but each community has its own rules.
In Santa Maria, these fireworks can only be bought and used from June 28th until July 5th, but in Lompoc, which will allow Safe and Sane fireworks for the first time, the rules are different.
"This is a huge opportunity for local nonprofits to support various causes," said John McCammon, volunteer with Calvary Chapel Church.
Calvary Chapel Church is one of six non-profit groups in Lompoc setting up shop to start selling a Fourth of July tradition.
"We have a bunch of volunteer helpers in here already starting to break down boxes and set up products," said McCammon.
McCammon hopes selling Safe and Sane fireworks will be a successful fundraiser, but urges buyers to be safe.
"With the dry conditions around us today, we need to be careful all the way around," said McCammon.
"Part of the mandated order is we have to put in a piece of paper that goes over the rules and regulations," said McCammon.
It is part of the ordinance set by the City of Lompoc.
"I don't believe it's in the best interest of public safety," said Lompoc Fire Chief Kurt Latipow.
Chief Latipow is concerned about the high risk for fires this Fourth of July, so he's sending out extra patrols that day.
"In the extremely dry environment we currently have, it will in fact lead to a wild land fire," said Chief Latipow.
So when you're enjoying your sparklers and ground spinners, make sure you're staying safe on America's birthday.
"People should know that they need to be safe because if it's not safe, this may go away and I would hate to see that," said McCammon.
Lompoc residents can only use safe and sane fireworks on the Fourth of July and you must be 16 years or older to buy.
Both Santa Maria and Lompoc have zero tolerance for illegal fireworks and if you are found with them you can be fined a thousand dollars or more.
If you live outside city limits, fireworks of any type are banned throughout most of Santa Barbara County.
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