Fireworks Guide: Where are they legal, where are they not?

While fire officials encourage residents to leave fireworks to the professionals, many people buy and use fireworks, legal and illegal, to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. 

KTVU's Tom Vacar drove to four counties, three of which are near the Contra Costa County which is off limits to all fireworks. 

There's a balancing act between the enormous good fireworks can do and the enormous damage they can cause.

In Dublin, which is among the three cities in Alameda County where "safe and sane" fireworks are still legal, there are 11 fireworks stands that only sell to people over the age of 18. 
All stands raise money for schools and education. 

"We depend on the fundraising to help support school events throughout the school year," said teacher Lauren Soto-Figueroa. "It supports not only our general students but our special education students and were able to get 50 percent in profits."

Last summer, one stand made $12,000 in just a few days. 
"We check ID to make sure they're of legal age to sell and we also give out several flyers and pamphlets as well with safe zones here in Dublin that you can light fireworks," said Soto-Figueroa. 

The Odom family has long believed in the fundraising and does all it can to make things safe. 

The family only goes to designated places that Dublin set aside for lighting fireworks. 

"We go over to Shannon Park and they've got the dumpster with the water and we use the cardboard to help protect when we light it up and make sure that everybody stays away and we've been safe the last several years," said Brian Odom.

The problem is that the city sits very close to Contra Costa County, where fireworks are illegal. 

In Sacramento County, just east of Contra Costa County, people flocked to buy fireworks for the holiday, as they did in neighboring Solano County. 

The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office issued this statement: 
"The sale, possession or use of fireworks of all types and sizes (including Safe & Sane fireworks) are banned in the county. Deputy Sheriffs and officers on patrol will confiscate all fireworks. Offenders could also face up to $500 in fines."

Nowhere in California are illegal fireworks allowed, that includes bombs, firecrackers, and flying missiles. 

Anyone who is caught with them could face serious consequences such as a hefty fine or jail time. 

Even in areas where fireworks are legal, you are responsible for any damage or injuries.