As New Year’s Eve approaches, the Brentwood Police Department would like to offer some safety tips and remind its residents about the dangers associated with fireworks and the use of firearms when celebrating one of the most fun and joyous holidays of the year.
- Contra Costa County (and Brentwood) is a “fireworks-free-zone”; therefore, the possession or use of fireworks of all types and sizes (including Safe and Sane fireworks) are banned in the county and city of Brentwood (County Ordinance 44-2.002 and Brentwood Municipal Code 8.48.020). Possession of dangerous fireworks that leave the ground or explode may constitute a felony and could result in fines of up to $5,000 and imprisonment.
- The firing of firearms into the air is against the law. Bullets fired into the air return at some point and descend at approximately 300 to 400 feet per second, which poses a significant danger because it can penetrate roofs and cause damage to property and unwary residents. Statistics show that fireworks and celebratory gunfire seriously injure thousands of people annually.
The Brentwood Police Department will be taking a zero tolerance approach when dealing with fireworks violations and negligent gunfire. It’s important to keep in mind drought conditions created some additional safety concerns. High weeds and water stricken lawns are extremely vulnerable to stray embers or sparks caused by fireworks. Please avoid the temptation of putting yourself and neighbors at risk.
- Almost nothing scares a pet more than a sudden loud noise (such as, fireworks or gunfire). If possible keep your pet(s) inside, or away from loud noises. Ensure that fences and gate latches are secured beforehand to ensure they cannot get out. Make sure your pets have a collar with tag that contains owner information or equip them with a microchip.
Don’t drink and drive. If you intend to drink during your travels please have a designated driver. Ask a friend or family member for a ride, take a taxi or use a transportation app. If you are with someone that is too intoxicated to drive, take the keys. Coordinate a ride for this person with a trusted sober driver or phone their family member for a ride. Also, it’s not just people behind the wheel you have to pay attention to during your travels. Watch out for intoxicated pedestrians and bicyclist who pay no attention to lights or crosswalks.
- It’s safest to stay indoors in the privacy of your own home. However, if you intend to host a gathering, ask your guests who intend to drink an alcoholic beverage to surrender their car keys and put the keys in a secure spot. That way you can ensure that everyone has a safe ride home. Also consider having a designated driver “safety plan” in place before the gathering ends. Lastly, have space available for those without a ride a place to rest and sober up.
The Brentwood Police Department wishes everyone a fun, safe, joyous, and peaceful New Year!