San Jose city officials are being flooded with complaints about the illegal use of fireworks ahead of the July Fourth holiday. City spokeswoman Cheryl Wessling says they have received more than 100 complaints, many of which came in the last week.
Community members have concerns ranging from fire danger to scared pets, according to Wessling.
“What we really need the community to know is that this is an issue of respect: respecting your neighbor, respecting the fact that people have pets,” she said.
In preparation for the upcoming holiday, Wessling says the city has posted billboards and bus ads publicizing the dangers of fireworks. San Jose is encouraging people to report firework use through the city website.
“When a lot of people are using fireworks at the same time, it absolutely creates a safety crisis,” she said.
Wessling says it’s not only about respecting neighbors and law enforcement, but also military veterans who may experience the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The sound of fireworks these days is not that far from the sound of a war zone,” she said.
The San Jose Police Department began an investigation into the use and possession of fireworks in April amid community concerns.
So far, the department reports having seized 2,700 pounds of fireworks. All types of fireworks are illegal in San Jose, including Roman candles and sparklers.