DUBLIN, Calif. - This is the one and only week of the year that ‘safe & sane’ fireworks can be sold in California. Almost all of the proceeds go to good causes.
But, in the Bay Area, there are fewer fireworks stands selling more expensive fireworks, made more expensive by shortages and shipping problems from China.
Fireworks stands are rapidly becoming an endangered species. And that, would be a big loss to the community service and educational organizations that get a substantial part of their incomes from fireworks sales the week of the 4th of July.
"This fundraiser is vital to our budget. It, you know, helps pay for uniforms and equipment for different sports, different needs for around the campus, pays for officials, pays for everything we do; transportation for athletics," said Dublin's Valley Christian High Athletics Director Jeff Gadd.
"We raise money for the school, for any events at the school. It also goes toward the teachers and things they need for their classrooms. We do a lot of disability awareness and cultural awareness as well. I think this it's a part of why we've been able to do this for so long because we offer an alternative to illegal fireworks," said Jennifer Smith a fireworks booth organizer at Dublin's Murray Elementary School.
Even though safe & sane fireworks do not explode, fly or move on the ground in an uncontrolled way, they can and do start fires. But more cities and counties are saying 'no' to even so-called safe & sane fireworks.
"I do have that concern. I've been running this for seven years and it's such a great fundraiser and I get afraid every year that they're gonna say it's not safe, too dry, too many fires. The amount of groups doing it is less. I think that's part of the reality," said Valley Christian High's Gadd.
"Just with there being fewer and fewer cities, we are concerned. This is our biggest fundraiser for our schools." said Murray Elementary School's Smith.
Whether it’s from failure to watch youngsters using them, igniting them in the wrong places, carelessness or indifference, the fiery results can be real and devastating.
"Dublin has done a great job of setting designated parks, You can come together instead of in a parking lot. There's three or four different parks in the city," said Gadd.
Currently, about 300 communities statewide, only 11 towns in four Bay Area counties allow safe & sane fireworks, but 100% of communities, as well as the state, totally outlaw illegal fireworks in any form at any time.