The Friday night assault of fireworks launched from Dodger Stadium during home games this season has many Echo Park residents loving the show – but hating the sound. Babies are crying and dogs are whimpering. So, do residents have any recourse? Well, yes and no. Mostly no.
The Los Angeles Fire Department, which issues what’s called a Division 5 permit for fireworks and other public displays, does not take into account the frequency, duration or noise level of the show, said Inspector James Fisher with the Public Assemblage Unit.
“I don’t know of a limit,” said Fisher of how many times a show can take place at the same location. However, because of the cost, it’s rare for anyone to stage multiple shows or for any individual display to last for more than a few minutes. “You don’t have half-hour shows.”
What’s more important, as far as the LAFD is concerned, is that the property owner or organization paying for the fireworks has hired a company with a General Public Display license to stage the shows and a licensed pyrotechnician to set off those rockets. Fisher and the other inspectors, who are assigned to different parts of the city, review what kind of rockets and fireworks will be used to determine how far they will go and where the firework fallout will land. There is nothing to prevent a homeowner from seeking a Division 5 permit to set off their own backyard skyrocket show. But Fisher said that application would most likely be denied because the firework fallout would land on neighborhing homes. “I probably will not approve that. You don’t want that stuff landing on peoples’ roofs.”
So, once a Division 5 permit is approved, the applicant must pay anywhere from $225 to $600 a day for the permit. In addition, the applicant must pay (preferably not in Dodger Dogs) to have an LAFD supervisor on hand during the show. Fisher said he’s never heard of anyone trying to challenge a firework permit. But, what happens if neighbors complain about the noise and frequency? That’s not his department, said Fisher
The local council office or the LAPD, he said, will have to deal with the fallout from those fireworks complaints.