No Fireworks in Redwood City

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Fireworks are illegal in Redwood City

Up to $50,000 fines and jail time.

Keep your family and our community safe.

The use of ALL fireworks by people unlicensed to display fireworks is ILLEGAL in the City of Redwood City, as it is in most communities on the peninsula. Fireworks are dangerous and can result in fires and injuries that are easily preventable. In addition, fireworks cause unnecessary anxiety and fear in our community. Be a good neighbor and don't risk it! Let's keep each other safe and sane. 

We know this year will look different for 4th of July celebrations due to COVID-19. We will all miss seeing the fireworks show at the Port of Redwood City but we must remain vigilant against this virus. Do not attempt to set-off your own fireworks.  


When reporting illegal fireworks use, please call the Redwood City Police Department non-emergency line at (650) 780-7118. and try to provide specific addresses or identifying information to assist responding officers. 

Even though we often receive fireworks complaints this time of year, we have seen a huge uptick this  year. Our Police dispatch received over 265 complaints about fireworks over the last two weeks, with the majority of calls occurring between 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., a typically busy time for our patrol officers. During this same two-week period and between these same two hours, our officers responded to 2,300 other calls for service. The more specific information we have, the easier it is for us to respond and enforce the Social Host Ordinance. 


The use of fireworks by people unlicensed to display fireworks is illegal in the City of Redwood City. In 2019, the City Council adopted a Social Host ordinance to provide more comprehensive enforcement tools. The regulations apply 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 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 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.


On April 23, 2018, City Council approved a resolution to increase the fines associated with illegal fireworks use. The City’s new approved rates for administrative citations are provided below: 

  Recommended Fee
 First Violation, with no written notice provided   $500 for first violation
 First Violation, with written notice provided  $500 for first violation
 Second Violation of the same code section by the same person within a 12-month period of the first violation    $750
 Third Violation and each Subsequent Violation of the same code section by the same person within a 12 month period from the second or most recent violation    $1,000


In addition to the City’s increase in Administrative Citation Fines, someone who violates the State Fireworks Law can be fined and imprisoned. Per California Health & Safety Code Section 18700, penalties for violating the State Fireworks Law can range from fines of $500 to $50,000 and violators also can be imprisoned in the county jail.  



April 2019 Presentation

April 2019 Staff Report

Social Host Ordinance

Social Host Ordinance News Release

April 23, 2018 Staff Report

Adopted Resolution

Flyer (English) (Spanish)

Fire Department

Police Department