If you're unclear about which fireworks are legal or illegal "(It's) really simple: if it goes up in the air, darts across the ground or explodes, it's illegal," said Sacramento Metro Fire Investigator John Barsdale at demonstration conducted by the agency on Wednesday.
You see them for days before and after the 4th, often those mortars that fly high and explode with dazzling colors like a professional fireworks display.
Sacramento City Fire Chief Walt White talks about a new app for illegal fireworks detection. Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK
Now, when you see them, Sacramento Fireworks Task Force spokesman Dennis Revell says you can use the "Nail 'em" app to take pictures and use GPS to alert police to where people are using illegal fireworks. "If that's not the correct address to the activity, there's a bullseye on a map that appears," Revell said, "and you move that bullseye to the correct location and it captures the address and geo-codes the pictures to that address."
In some places, the pictures and report from the app are enough that an expensive citation could show up in the mail.