October 17, 2006

What does "Safe and Sane" mean?

Safe and Sane was likely a term proposed by fireworks companies to the State legislature in 1974 when the term was first used in the California Law. It does not mean that fireworks are "safe". It just means they are not banned as "dangerous" fireworks. The law is reprinted below.

Safe and Sane fireworks can injure people even if used correctly, as they can malfunction.

Safe and Sane does not mean safe for pets, minors, or the environment.

Safe and sane fireworks can be dangerous if not used by competent (non intoxicated) adults (over 18)

Safe and Sane fireworks are easily modified (such as removing parts) to become dangerous.

Safe and Sane fireworks can be used improperly (thrown in the air) to become dangerous.

Safe and Sane fireworks can be used to create dangerous fireworks or explosive devices.

Storage of Safe and Sane fireworks can create a fire hazard, especially when combined with other items in a garage


12500. This part shall be known and may be cited as the State Fireworks Law.

12505. "Dangerous fireworks" includes all of the following: (a) Any fireworks which contain any of the following:[list of chemicals omitted] (b) Firecrackers. (c) Skyrockets and rockets, including all devices which employ any combustible or explosive material and which rise in the air during discharge. (d) Roman candles, including all devices which discharge balls of fire into the air. (e) Chasers, including all devices which dart or travel about the surface of the ground during discharge. (f) Sparklers more than 10 inches in length or one-fourth of one inch in diameter. (g) All fireworks designed and intended by the manufacturer to create the element of surprise upon the user. These items include, but are not limited to, auto-foolers, cigarette loads, exploding golf balls, and trick matches. (h) Fireworks known as devil-on-the-walk, or any other firework which explodes through means of friction, unless otherwise classified by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to this part. (i) Torpedoes of all kinds which explode on impact. (j) Fireworks kits. (k) Such other fireworks examined and tested by the State Fire Marshal and determined by him, with the advice of the State Board of Fire Services, to possess characteristics of design or construction which make such fireworks unsafe for use by any person not specially qualified or trained in the use of fireworks.

12508. "Exempt fireworks" means any special item containing pyrotechnic compositions which the State Fire Marshal, with the advice of the State Fire Advisory Board, has investigated and determined to be limited to industrial, commercial, agricultural use, or religious ceremonies when authorized by a permit granted by the authority having jurisdiction.

12529. "Safe and sane fireworks" means any fireworks which do not come within the definition of "dangerous fireworks" or "exempt fireworks."

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