Fireworks at Gilroy High

Police warn of dangers of illegal fireworks in city limits

The Fourth of July celebration in Gilroy are sure to go off with a bang, as the city-sponsored legal fireworks show returns at 9:30pm near Gilroy High School.

The fireworks will be set off on the softball field, but no one will be allowed near the field. Community Engagement Officer Rachelle Bedell said the fireworks can be viewed from the school baseball field, nearby open grassy areas, or the levee near the high school.

And once again, the city is emphasizing fireworks safety with the second year of a smartphone app for reporting illegal fireworks. The “Nail Em’” application can be used from 7pm till midnight on July 4 to report illegal fireworks.

Beginning July 1, city residents can purchase “safe and sane” fireworks from licensed locations along city streets and in shopping mall parking lots. These are big fundraisers for local non-profits.

These fireworks are supposed to be used only within the city of Gilroy.  However, there are areas in Gilroy where fireworks of any kind are completely prohibited.

Bedell said those areas are Eagle Ridge, Country Estates and Carriage Hills. There is a longer list available on the city of Gilroy website.

The city allows illegal firework drop-offs at Gilroy fire stations with no penalty. The station addresses are Chestnut Fire Station, 7070 Chestnut St.; Las Animas Fire Station, 8383 Wren Ave.; and Sunrise Fire Station, 880 Sunrise Drive. Residents can also call 408-846-0350 to report illegal fireworks.

Bedell said there are no road closures planned for the holiday.

Police are encouraging citizens to download the “Nail ‘Em” app before the holiday. Citizens who use the app have the option to stay completely anonymous, police said. The app can be downloaded from the app store for iOS and Android devices. Location services must be turned on for the Nail ‘Em app to be effective.

Police described how to use the app: If you see a nearby launch or explosion of a firework, you can report it using the “reporting mode” on the Nail ‘Em app. The app uses your device’s GPS to access your general location. Nail ‘Em also allows the user to add information to help the officers pinpoint the precise location where the violation is occurring, such as an address or a general description of the area.

Citizens can also report illegal fireworks by phone by calling 911 for emergencies only, and by calling (408) 846-0350 for non-emergencies. Police prefer that citizens use the Nail ‘Em app to report fireworks violations from 7pm to midnight July 4.