As the July 4th holiday approaches, the Santa Monica Fire Department is reminding everyone that all types of fireworks are illegal in the City of Santa Monica. The same is true for all other areas in the Argonaut distribution area.

This includes so-called “safe and sane” fireworks, which may be used only in the city in which they are purchased.

Permanent scarring, loss of vision and dismemberment are too often the harsh results of amateur fireworks use, according to the Santa Monica Fire Department.

In an effort 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 the Fire Protection Association, amateur fireworks use endangers not only the users, but also bystanders and surrounding property and structures.

Pyrotechnic devices ranging from sparklers to aerial rockets cause thousands of fires and serious injuries each year, according to the association.

“Safe and sane fireworks don’t exist,” says John Hall, Fire Protection Association assistant vice president for 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, association officials said.

Following these displays, or at any other time, 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 just too risky, according to the association.

Public fireworks displays are scheduled in Santa Monica Saturday, June 30th, and in Marina del Rey Wednesday, July 4th. See page 17 for more information on local events.