Proper Firework Disposal

Fireworks are a fun way to honor the 4th of July holiday, but make sure to celebrate responsibly! Every year, nearly 20,000 fires in the U.S. are caused from improper firework usage and/or disposal. Firework debris can also cause litter on streets, sidewalks and parking lots, and can end up in nearby rivers and oceans. Fireworks also contain chemicals like fuel, oxidizers, and metal and chlorine compounds that are unsafe for SLO County sewer systems and drainage. Follow these disposal steps to do your part in keeping people and the environment safe: 

  • If lighting fireworks in a location other than your sidewalk, bring reusable or plastic bags to contain and transport firework debris back home.
  • Bring a flashlight (or use your phone’s camera light) so that once the fireworks are finished, your group can easily see what litter remains and can pick it up easily.
  • Do not dump used fireworks debris in park or community trash bins immediately after use. 
  • Keep a bucket of water, hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire.
  • Fully extinguish fireworks by soaking in water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Empty soaking water into the toilet or trash.
  • Once extinguished and cool, place used fireworks in bags and place in the garbage.
  • Considering saving leftover fireworks for next 4th of July? Store carefully in a cool and dry location, and avoid buying more than you plan to use for the next round.

Check with SLO County’s fire stations on best practices for firework disposal and to learn about collection available for unused fireworks.