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Redwood City Adopts A Social Host Ordinance to Enforce the Illegal Use of Fireworks in the Community

Post Date:04/24/2019 9:00 AM

April 24, 2019
Media Contact:
Meghan Horrigan, City Manager's Office


Redwood City Adopts A Social Host Ordinance to Enforce the Illegal Use of Fireworks in the Community
Redwood City is the second community in San Mateo County to adopt stronger restrictions

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF.-This week, the City Council adopted stronger restrictions to further enforce and educate the public on the safety risks of the illegal use of fireworks by establishing a Social Host Ordinance. Redwood City is the second community in San Mateo County to enact a Social Host Ordinance, an additional tool available for the enforcement of illegal fireworks use. The City will use the adoption of the new ordinance to expand the City's community outreach efforts and further educate the community about the risks of fireworks use.
"The community has asked for the City to be tougher on the illegal use of fireworks, and I believe our efforts to date have made a difference,"said Ian Bain, mayor of the City of Redwood City."A Social Host Ordinance provides our Fire and Police Departments with additional tools to educate the public and enforce our laws. I am confident that this new ordinance will further reduce illegal use of fireworks in our community."


The City launched an aggressive community outreach campaign following the increase of administrative fines in 2018. The use of illegal fireworks could lead up to $50,000 fines and jail time. The new ordinance is an expansion of the City's efforts to continue to educate the community to the risks associated with the illegal use of fireworks and seeks to improve enforcement of the illegal use of fireworks. Currently twelve communities throughout California have adopted Social Host Ordinance for fireworks use, including the City of Pacifica and Santa Clara County.


The new ordinance and regulations applies to any person who has the right to use, possess or occupy a public or private property under a lease, permit, license, rental agreement, or contract. Additionally the ordinance applies to any person who hosts, organizes, supervises, officiates, conducts, or accepts responsibility for a gathering on public or private property. The ordinance exempts property owners who can demonstrate that at the time of the violation they had rented or leased the property to another, they were not present, and they had no prior knowledge of the violation. This new ordinance is not intended to be used to seek out violations but is crafted to hold persons in control of the property accountable for the illegal use of fireworks.


The City will use the establishment of the new ordinance to conduct additional community outreach to inform the public of its existence and potential penalties will further the goal of reducing illegal fireworks use in the community. Fireworks have been illegal since 2014 when the City Council banned "safe and sane" fireworks use in Redwood City.


The Redwood City Fire Department serves the communities of Redwood City, San Carlos, and aspects of San Mateo County. This year, the Redwood City Fire Department achieved a Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating of "Class 1". Nationwide, only 306 fire departments out of 46,000 have received a Class 1 rating - which is less than 1% of all fire departments.


For more on the City's regulations to reduce the use of illegal fireworks in Redwood City, go here,

For more about the Redwood City Fire Department, go here,
For more about the Redwood City Police Department, go here,
About the City of Redwood City
The City of Redwood City is a San Francisco Bay Area community located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the technology-rich region extending from the San Francisco Peninsula to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Redwood City is the third largest city within the County of San Mateo, with 85,992 residents. The city enjoys an average of 255 sunny days a year, which it boasts via the city slogan: "Climate Best by Government Test". Incorporated in 1867, Redwood City is home to the San Mateo County History Museum (located in the county's old courthouse) and the only active deep water port within the south bay of San Francisco. The city's vibrant downtown, quickly becoming known as the entertainment hub of the San Francisco Peninsula, offers residents, visitors, and businesses a unique retail, entertainment, and restaurant experience.

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