Letter–Parents Could Be Liable for Kids’ Firework Damage

Fireworks were set off in an alley in Brentwood around 8 p.m. June 28. Luckily there was no wind and firefighters responded promptly.

(Editor’s note: This letter about fireworks is from Carolyn Jordan, the President of the Brentwood Community Council, but also resonates strongly with Pacific Palisades residents. Jordan reminds parents “please be aware that there are several laws in California that may make you legally responsible for your children’s actions.”) 


Too many in our community are all too well aware of children in our area setting off fireworks.  The community is frustrated and worn out, from fearing they just heard gunshots, from being woken up late at night, from pets being sent into states of alarm, to the concerns that fires will be started and people will be injured.  Yesterday, a fire was started from one of these firework throwing incidents. Thankfully no one was injured.

For quite some time, these incidents have been reported to the LAPD. Typically, the children involved are long gone before the police are able to arrive.  But recently, some video footage was obtained, and one child has been identified.  Our LAPD Senior Lead Officer is involved.

To everyone who is impacted – as challenging as it is, please keep reporting these incidents to the LAPD emergency number.  1-800-ASK-LAPD.  Please keep sharing your videos with our Senior Lead Officer, Matthew Kirk, at 34713@lapd.online.  For the month of July, please also share your information with Officer Christopher Pech, at 37881@lapd.online, while Officer Kirk is out of the office. (Palisades residents are reminded that Brian Espin is the SLO here. Email: 37430@lapd.online or 310-444-0737.)

Parents – with summer upon us, with the 4th of July around the corner, we need your help!

Fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles.  More than half of Brentwood is located in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.  (All of Pacific Palisades is located in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.) Our community is a tinder box, waiting for a spark to set it ablaze.  Please make sure your children know the very real dangers associated with setting off fireworks.

Please make sure your children know that many buildings have security cameras, and the police are beginning to be able to identify who is participating in this dangerous and illegal activity.  Please make them aware that these fireworks, including M80s, can permanently injure these children.  This is not harmless fun, and the consequences can be dire.

Parents – the children participating in this activity include children under 16 years of age riding on motorized scooters.  One needs a driver’s license to ride on motorized scooters.  This activity is also illegal.

Parents – please be aware that there are several laws in California that may make you legally responsible for your children’s actions.

If you are helping your child ride on motorized scooters by providing an account for them, you could be enabling the activity and be held responsible.  If your child’s conduct is willful, as in setting off fireworks, you could be held legally responsible even if you don’t know your child is participating in this activity.  Starting a fire, as happened yesterday, is a very dangerous event and the consequences could be life-changing for many.  No one wants that.

Parents – please get involved and help us curtail this activity that is ruining the quality of life for many of our residents.  We – and your children – really need your help.

The fireworks caught brush on fire, but luckily the fire was put out before it traveled to nearby homes.

*This article does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult with an attorney if legal advice is needed.

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2 Responses to Letter–Parents Could Be Liable for Kids’ Firework Damage

  1. Krishna Thangavelu says:

    We are going to need to roll out school based training for every student in middle and high school on behavioral conduct — no bullying, no fireworks, basics of understanding the legal system and penalties for assault, battery, arson. Every single middle schooler and high schooler will need to sign off on comprehension of these behavioral guidelines. And their understanding of the consequences of breaking the law.

    I don’t see any other way to get the message to every teenager that the consequences of criminal behavior can impact college admission and future employment.

    Parents may not be reading these news bulletins. We can’t leave public safety to a hit or miss awareness strategy. We are going to need to roll out a full fledged campaign that has zero loopholes.

  2. 'Joy' says:

    Isn’t it a shame that parents have to be threatened with financial loss to get them to actually ‘parent’ their kids. Many of the parents have knowledge that their kids are involved. Sadly, many of the kids are even known by name to school administrators, local acquaintances and even the vendors they attack. Are the moms and dads just too lazy or too caught up in their own lives to bother with their children. Even more scary is that when they’re adults, their progeny will use what they’ve learned in the past to live among us in the future.

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