For the first time in many years, we’re seeing a reduction in the use of fireworks surrounding the 4th of July holiday in the greater Los Angeles community. This is a big deal – fireworks use, notably illegal fireworks has been a growing problem year over year and the recent pandemic added to the urge to use these devices. This year, reported use of illegal fireworks was down all the way up to the 4th of July. The fourth itself was just as bad as the past few years, but the noise and lights were much more sporadic and random both leading up and following the actual Independence Day holiday.
The LA City Buyback program sponsored by Council District 7 brought in approximately 175 people, who surrendered 31% more fireworks than in the previous year. The new, free FX Reporter smartphone app was used to report fireworks more than 900 times during a ten day period, with most of the reports coming in on the 4th and 5th of July. Downtown L.A. and the San Fernando Valley had the highest number of reports.
This year, our collaboration with city council, county supervisors, area fire departments, police, and other agencies to ensure everyone used the same marketing phrases (Think of your neighbors, etc.), as well as the same materials appears to have impacted the public in a positive manner. We pulled out all the stops this year, not only ensuring all LAFD fire stations, LAPD police divisions, and several other public facilities had large external banners. We provided 50,000 flyers, 7,220 posters, and shared our PSA, which was viewed thousands of times. Our survey had lesser results in past years, but still brought more than 1,000 people’s opinions and thoughts on fireworks. We believe that the reduction in survey use is directly tied to the reduction in fireworks use overall.
Next, we need to work to support the passage of Senate Bill 277, and start working on New Year’s Eve and Fireworks 2023.