The Grover Beach Police Department and Five Cities Fire Authority are working together to protect residents from illegal fireworks this Fourth of July by deploying a new drone program that will give them better oversight of the city.
According to a news release from the City of Grover Beach, the drone team will follow police who are on the ground when receiving calls concerning the illegal use of fireworks. The city hopes to better handle the use of illegal fireworks this season for the benefit of the public, police officers and firefighters as well as be able to reduce the risk of wildfires and the impact fireworks have on noise-sensitive residents and animals.
Grover Beach Chief of Police John Peters said, "The Grover Beach Police Department typically receives an average of 47 calls for service regarding the illegal use of fireworks each July 4th holiday period."
Residents who set off illegal fireworks in San Luis Obispo County can receive a $1,000 fine and a misdemeanor violation with up to a year in jail.
The city currently has a fireworks ordinance that limits the use of "Safe and Sane" fireworks to the Fourth of July between 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. only. This variety of fireworks includes fountains, sparklers and other similar non-projectile or explosive types.
Five Cities Fire Authority Chief Steve Lieberman wants residents to be compliant with safety protocols when handling "Safe and Sane" fireworks near "browned" lawns that residents may have due to an effort to conserve water. The safety protocols list is as follows:
- Stay away from anything that is not clearly labeled with the State Fire Marshal's seal
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
- Read and follow all manufacturer's warnings and instructions
- Keep a source of water (and a fire extinguisher) close by