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Think Twice Before Setting Off Fireworks This 4th of July

San Jose residents could face harsher consequences for taking part in illegal fireworks this summer.

The San Jose City Council voted unanimously this month to move forward with the Social Host ordinance, which would fine both tenants and property owners for fireworks launched on their property, regardless of if they set off the fireworks or not. Members will vote on final approval later this month.

Complaints about illegal fireworks tripled during the pandemic. The City of San José fines for illegal fireworks use are now among the highest in the Bay Area. Fines have increased and now start at $1,000 and escalate to $2,000 and $3,000 for a 2nd and 3rd violation.


Jason Ta, police captain for the support services division, said the department received about $37,000 to address illegal firework sales and use for Fourth of July this year. The department plans to monitor places known to be hotspots for fireworks, allow San Jose residents to report fireworks through the 311 app and potentially use drones for law enforcement.

Residents are reminded that all fireworks, even those labeled ‘safe and sane’ are dangerous and illegal in San José. The City’s online reporting tool has been enhanced and residents are urged to report illegal fireworks atwww.sanjoseca.gov/fireworks or by calling 311. Fireworks reports may not result in emergency resources being immediate dispatched, however, all reports will be reviewed and if sufficient information is provided, the City’s Code Enforcement Division will issue a warning letter or citation. Residents can “Snap, Click, and Report” violators online:


  1. SNAP: Safely take a photo or video of the person participating in the illegal activity.

  2. CLICK: Visit www.sanjoseca.gov/fireworks.

  3. REPORT: Fill out the online form with complete and accurate information regarding the illegal firework activity. Residents can upload up to five separate photos or videos as evidence of illegal activity.


Residents may also report fireworks via a 24-hour hotline at (408) 535-5600 or by calling 311. The online reporting tool is available year-round. All reports will be reviewed and upon determination that sufficient evidence has been provided for both the violation and the violator, the City’s Code Enforcement Division will issue a citation.




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