SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria's Cornerstone Church relies on its Safe and Sane fireworks booth in the JC Penney parking lot at the corner of Stowell and Broadway as its main fundraiser of the year.
"Brings in probably the majority of what we have to sustain the ministry for the whole year for youth and young adults", says Emily Zimmerman with Cornerstone Church.
Santa Maria's Fire Marshall says the sale of Safe and Sane fireworks that starts about a week before the Fourth of July is strictly regulated and monitored.
"We will inspect all 25 booths on or about the 28th (of June) once they open", says interim city Fire Marshall Darrell Delgado, "you have to be over 18 years of age to buy the fireworks and an adult is required to actually ignite the fireworks, they are not to be used by children. You're not allowed to possess them outside the City of Santa Maria limits, you cannot transport the fireworks outside the cities that allow them."
The City of Santa Maria is already receiving complaints on its designated public hotline about illegal fireworks which pose the greatest risk to public safety.
"They are extremely dangerous, not just for the fire hazard but for injuries", Delgado says, "they're everywhere, there's no way we can possibly contain them all because they are legal to purchase in other nearby states."
In the meantime the legal sale of Safe and Sane fireworks meets the financial needs of Santa Maria non-profit groups like Cornerstone Church.
"We get a lot of support, its awesome", Emily Zimmerman says about the church's Safe and Sane fireworks booth, "there's a lot of people in the community that want to support the youth of our city and what we're doing on campuses and stuff so its exciting to see people turn out for that."
Sales of Safe and Sane fireworks in Santa Maria begin June 28 and run through the night of the Fourth of July.
Fines for illegal fireworks or unauthorized use of Safe and Sane fireworks can be as high as $1,000.