Safe & Sane Fireworks

Fireworks that include rockets, aerial missiles and spinners, roman candle-types and any other devices (combination or novelty) that is structurally or functionally similar to any of these designs are not considered "safe and sane."

The term "Safe and Sane" came about in the 1960s, in reference to a newfound type of fireworks. It was believed that these consumer fireworks were safer than ones sold previously, such as blaring firecrackers, roaring rockets and volatile aerial shells. The meaning of the term "Safe and Sane," was coined to indicate that these fireworks were less likely to cause bodily harm or property damage.

The official “Safe and Sane” seal is determined by the state, as every jurisdiction has its own definition of what is considered “Safe & Sane” fireworks under their laws and regulations. A "Safe and Sane" firework assortment package will probably consist mostly of fountains and ground items, omitting the rockets, missiles, and other explosives. Even though firecrackers are usually not considered part of the "Safe and Sane" group, there may be some states that allow their distribution.

If you are wanting to have a Fireworks Display or Fireworks Stand/Booth please complete the appropriate application found below and mail it to:

Merced County Fire Dept.
3500 N. Apron Avenue
Atwater, CA 95301

Firework safety

  • Only light one device at a time
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks and dispose of them properly
  • Be sure to read all of your fireworks' instructions and safety precautions
  • If you are under 16, use adult supervision
  • Only purchase your fireworks from trustworthy vendors
  • Only light your fireworks outdoors
  • Do not attempt to make your own fireworks
  • Store your fireworks in a cool, safe area
  • Never light fireworks in metal or glass containers
  • Never throw a firework at another person
  • Never carry your fireworks on you (e.g., in your pocket)

Illegal Fireworks

Fireworks are illegal in certain areas of California because each year serious injuries and millions of dollars in property loss occur from wildfires sparked by fireworks. Large grass crops and dry vegetation increase the threat for devastating fires throughout all of California.

Check your local laws and ordinances to find out if fireworks are illegal where you live, or if certain “Safe and Sane” fireworks are permitted.

  • It’s illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess or use fireworks in a community where they are not permitted.
  • If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year.
  • Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.

Fireworks Forms