The San Bruno Patch Guide to 4th of July Fireworks

San Bruno is one of only two cities in San Mateo County where fireworks are allowed to be sold and set off outside of professional shows. Here's what you need to know to make sure your Fourth of July is the best ever.

Today is June 28, and you know what that means: Fireworks officially go on sale in San Bruno.

Fireworks are unique here because this is one of only two cities in San Mateo County that allow fireworks to be sold and set off—as long they’re “safe and sane,” of course. Pacifica is the other city.

Here is a guide that will help you understand how fireworks work in San Bruno so that you can have the best Fourth of July ever.

When can I buy fireworks?

Fireworks will be sold at booths throughout the city from noon to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Friday to July 4.

Where can I buy fireworks?

This year, there are 17 nonprofit organizations manning fireworks booths. Many of the booths are at The Shops at Tanforan, Bayhill Shopping Center and along El Camino Real (see the map for details). As a tip from a longtime vendor, people should shop at more than just one booth. For many of these organizations, this is their biggest fundraiser of the year.

How much do fireworks cost?

We’ll get back to you with the details. But each booth will likely have buy-one-get-one-free deals on some items. There are also good deals on the fireworks packages.

Can anyone buy fireworks?

Not quite. In San Bruno, you have to 18 years old to buy them. Each vendor will ask for ID, so be prepared.

I’ve got my fireworks. Now I’m ready to go set them off.

Not so fast there. While safe and sane fireworks are allowed, there are only certain hours when you can set them off: noon to 10 p.m. from today through July 3, and noon until midnight on the Fourth of July.

Also, according to the city, you're only supposed to use fireworks in front of your home. For any home, apartment or building, you have to be at least 10 feet away. And parking lots, vacant property and streets are off limits. So if you're planning on really having a blast (not literally, of course), make sure it's on private property.

Any other suggestions?

So glad you asked. When you’re setting off your fireworks, make sure to be safe, have a bucket of water and a hose handy, don't let children light them, keep a safe distance, be considerate and, of course have fun. 

Also, take note of your favorite fireworks and which booth they came from. That way, you can go back and get them again next year.

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Robert Riechel June 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM
If you suspect someone has or is selling ILLEGAL fireworks - call 1-866-50ARSON
David Nakai June 28, 2012 at 09:37 PM
I'm not positive, but isn't that number only for Contra Costa County?
watchfultaxpayer June 29, 2012 at 08:51 PM
When reading the above info regarding the sale of 'safe and sane fireworks' in San Bruno, no where does it mention WHERE the puchasers of said fireworks can use them. The parks as well as the local school grounds are plastered with notices prohibiting their use in public spaces as well as the fine for using them at these places. Public streets are also prohibited as a place of use according to newspaper articles. All this begs the question, where are these money-maker fireworks to be 'sanely and safely' used ? If one says our own backyard or front for that matter, what about the apartment dwellers? What about the purchasers who come in from cities that prohibit their sale? Where are their 'safe and sane' fireworks' to be used, legally that is?
Martin Ricard (Editor) June 29, 2012 at 09:22 PM
All good questions. I'll add that information. Thanks for the comment.
joe July 01, 2012 at 05:25 PM
While I enjoy lighting off a few of these safe and sane fireworks with the kids, I wonder if San Bruno invites more illegal fire works by allowing them.
Victor Javier Villarreal July 01, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Wow! The only truth on this page is that the people of San Bruno should give out free tissue boxes to these cry babies. I am sick and tired of not being able to sneeze without someone wanting to call a lawyer or a special quarantine unit . True fireworks can cause fires and the posey parade backs up traffic. Lead paint can harm you, every building I work in has chemicals known in the state of California to cause cancer. Not wearing my seat belt can get me a driving infraction. I just wanna say live a little pledge allegiance to your flag, honor and celebrate your beautiful country for a night or two! Remember the sacrifice your ancestors made so that you could enjoy these days the way you do. Light a sparkler, an m1000 or a mortar put your hand over your heart and look in the sky as you scream the pledge of alligiance. I am the father of six beautiful children I reside in San Bruno. Our family loves seeing the great fire works show. How long do you old people plan to live ? Forever? Seeing mummies like Hugh Heffner parade with such young women is becoming sick. Why don't you old complaining hags get off your rockers, throw a sweater on,turn off those smart phones you people think are the greatest things, grab your canes and partake in these festive events. Get some fresh air it's good for you! I want to thank San Bruno for being one of the last patriotic cities in San Mateo co. Go Giants! " Project black n orange" on youtube
joe July 02, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Kids aged 5 to 9 are the highest percentage of people injured from illegal fireworks, let's hope it's not one of our kids!! 9300 people are injured form fireworks every year and 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes every 4th of July, why ignore the facts. BTW project black and orange, nice house, but are you East Bay or Bruno? Confusing to say the least!!!!
Victor Villarreal July 02, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Very sad statistics. I know that my children will be safe. You know if there ever is an accident. I believe that I will be man enough to deal with what ever situation arises! I will protect my children with my life if need be I am prepared to give my life for anyone of them but I will never shelter or steal lifes' opportunities. People that are brave and do not fear life are the type of people that win wars and run big buisness. Maybe I am wrong? I am not afraid to admit it. Maybe I will start handing out baby wipes for all you sensitive folks. I understand the loud noises may cause some of your depends to fill. Let me appologize ahead of time for a great light show. My black n orange house is in south hayward. I reside in San bruno. If I listened to everybody I know and if I was a coward I would of never painted a house all black n orange in the eastbay with the giants logo on it! Happy 4 th of July.
watchfultaxpayer July 02, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Perhaps Martin will be able to find the answers to my valid questions. When products are sold with so many restrictions, where are the purchasers supposed to use them? Just a few years ago this was a non issue because the residents of San Bruno were responsible and there was very little worry about tragedy occurring. Unfortunately, responsibility has disappeared, perhaps mamy 'old' people died off, and irresponsibility has moved in. It is too bad the city leaders just didn't make the bold decision to outlaw them and in their place hold a public display in one of the open baseball fields for all to enjoy with safety measures in place. But they put it to the vote and parents who only want to fund raise for 10 days instead of throughout the year prevailed. That doesn't mean it was the best option nor that someone who disagrees with it is old and unpatriotic. Explain to me again what Hugh Hefner has to do with fireworks and the 4th of July in San Bruno, CA ??? Perhaps I am too old to get the innuendo.
Victor Villarreal July 02, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Hugh Heffner is a perfect example of an old person that wants to live forever. The preservation of life is essential when the individual has some form of participation in life. Just because you are rich does not make it ok to live to 100 years of age. The human body was not built to last that long. Breaktroughs in medicine help people fight disease that would of ended many peoples existance. It's great to have your elders around you, especially when they're handing down knowledge. When old people start to nagg, complain or start to take advantage of younger people, they should be placed in homes or put down to rest. Hugh Heffner put out a magazine that was great. It opened many people up to a freedom of sexuality that was unheard of at the time. Now a days the greedy old man likes to parade around with 20 yr old girls like he's some kind of acceptable pimp. There is sense of child abuse and pedophilism in his actions. In my eyes that is not moral. That is not correct, but it's this old mummies views ,money and powers that allow this old person to continue doing what he's doing. Would it not be correct to move to the side and allow the next new idea or breakthrough to emerge. put away the model t and bust out the ferrari spider.Get rid of your box of records and plug in a i pod touch with 16 gigs of storage.Allow the Pony Express to rest lay back and e-mail some one in Europe. Is it not correct to stop whining.
Martin Ricard (Editor) July 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
According to the city, you're only supposed to use fireworks in front of your home. For any home, apartment or building, you have to be at least 10 feet away. And parking lots, vacant property and streets are off limits.
watchfultaxpayer July 02, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Is this your answer to my question what does Hugh Hefner have to do with fireworks and the 4th of July in San Bruno which I believe is the topic of this article??? You know, Victor, if I were a rude reactionary person I might assume you have 6 children because you are careless, poorly educated about the responsibility and cost of raising a child to age 18 as welll as setting a bad example for them by being close-minded, judgmental, and descriminatory about people you don't even know. But then I was raised by 'old' people and so I am not a rude, reactionary person. Therefore, I will credit you for just being young and inexperienced of the niceties and manners of a civil society.
joe July 03, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Victor Villarreal July 04, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Close minded? Wahhh fireworks Judgemental? Careless, judgemental Discriminatory? Poorly educated How about a penny pinching,hypocrit? Watchful taxpayer. Who doesn't pay taxes. I own my home and a few rentals. One for everyone of my kids. My kids have the best healthcare and are spoiled rotten with I phones ,pocket bikes, video game systems, pets, I pads laptops and a pair of really great parents. All are very healthy all are in sports and all have excellent grades and participate in school functions. I own 4 cars I plan to make in six in two years one for each of them. I have a great career that pays for these children and some. Is money the reason you don't have any children. Is money the reason you still live at your mothers home. Is money the reason you don't have any real fireworks. Are the taxes you pay the store tax at the store. Maybe you should be watchful stingy,broke 50 year old virgin.lmao
Victor Villarreal July 04, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Side busting joe lmao.
watchfultaxpayer July 05, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Thank you, Martin, for your official reply to my question. It confirms the hypocracy of the city policy that allows the sale of 'safe and sane' at the same time prohibiting their use. 10 feet from most homes in SB is in the public street which is also prohibited by the city.The same applies to apartment dwellers as well as purchasers from Burlingame, SSF or other cities whose citizens come in to buy them. Where are they to use them??? Some come back to SB feeling entitled to use them on our public streets and do in front of anyone's home. I suppose they feel confident they won't be ticketed for using them on public property. This is simply a policy that is illogical. If we sell them then we should provide places to use them that is not, by their own rules, PROHIBITED.
Victor Villarreal July 06, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Hypocracy is a great word for you penny's on the dollar, never tip for services fight me over a nickel or what ever u call yourself. Hey Martin a true San Bruno resident knows where to light off and how he can get in to trouble. So no need to answer this fake Winnie wanna be San bruno resident. Prohibition this is not the 50's yard. Go on to the next town with that talk. It was a great 4 everyone. Have a beautiful 2012. Watchful cents. Your complaints don't make dollars so it don't make cents. Wahhhhhhh


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