As the July 4th holiday approaches, the Santa Monica Fire Department officials remind everyone that all types of fireworks are illegal in the City of Santa Monica, including the so-called “safe and sane” fireworks, which may not be used even if they are legal in the city where they are purchased.

Fire officials note that permanent scarring, loss of vision, and dismemberment are among the harsh results of amateur fireworks use. To keep the public safe from fireworks-related injuries and deaths, the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association urges everyone to treat fireworks, whether legal or illegal for consumers, as suitable only for use by trained professionals. According to NFPA, amateur fireworks use endangers not only the users, but also bystanders and surrounding property and structures.

“Safe and sane fireworks don’t exist,” says Dr. John Hall, NFPA assistant vice president of Fire Analysis and Research. “When things go wrong with fireworks, they go very wrong, very fast, far faster than any fire protection provisions can reliably respond to.”

Public fireworks displays by trained professionals are the smartest and safest fireworks alternative for everyone because they are conducted under controlled settings and regulations, fire officials say. Children should be cautioned to never pick up fireworks that may be left over. Fireworks that have been ignited and fail to immediately explode or discharge can cause injury because they may still be active.

Children should always tell an adult if they find fireworks, rather than picking up smoking or

charred fireworks themselves, which is considered too risky.

Third Annual Hometown Parade

Led by Fire Chief Jim Hone, this year’s honorary grand marshall, the Hometown Parade presented by the Ocean Park Association starts at 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 4th, in front of the Santa Monica Civic Center.

Registration is required to participate in the parade. Information, the Ocean Park Association’s Parade Line at (310) 564-1968, or www.opa-sm.org/.

Holiday traffic and street closure information

Heavy holiday traffic is anticipated west of Lincoln Boulevard throughout the Fourth of July weekend.—Motorists should expect delays while driving through the area.

The Santa Monica Pier will be closed to vehicular traffic from Thursday, July 2nd at midnight through Sunday, July 5th at midnight.—All of the pier’s shops, rides and attractions will be open during their regularly scheduled hours of operation and the pier will be accessible to pedestrian traffic.

The following streets will be closed on July 4th from 6 a.m. until noon for the parade:

n Main Street between Colorado Avenue and Marine Street; Neilson Way between Ocean Park Boulevard and Barnard Way; Barnard Way between Ocean Park Boulevard and Neilson Way. As a result of these street closures, Beach Lot 5 South at 2600 Barnard Way will be closed on July 4th from 6 a.m. to noon.

For more information on holiday events in Santa Monica, (310) 458-8411 or www.smgov.net/.

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