New Methods in Reporting Illegal Fireworks


California’s largest wholesale distributor of State-Approved (“Safe & Sane”) Fireworks, today announced the launch of their revised, dual platform smartphone mobile app that will allow residents in cities and counties throughout California to take pictures of the sale and/or use of illegal fireworks in that jurisdiction and email these photos, along with the GPS coordinates of the alleged illegal activity and a text and/or audio message, to that jurisdiction’s law enforcement agency or fire department so that it can immediately investigate, confiscate, cite and/or arrest those responsible for this alleged illegal  activity.

This unique smartphone app, appropriately named “Nail’em”, which debuted in a beta form last 4th of July, places the power of illegal fireworks enforcement in the palm of any Californian’s hands. It will allow them to report the possession, sale and/or use of illegal fireworks in their community along with photos and GPS locations. The citizen’s complaint will automatically be routed to the correct law enforcement and fire personnel. The reporting individual can also opt-in to receive notifications and be kept informed regarding when and how their complaint was acted upon. This Nail’em app is being provided to communities throughout California and their residents, free of charge, as a public service of TNT  Fireworks.

“So many California communities in 2016, experienced a rampant use of illegal fireworks, especially in cities where no fireworks were allowed,” declared Dennis C. Revell, spokesperson for TNT Fireworks. “Despite public demands for increased enforcement and years of collaborative efforts between TNT Fireworks and state and local fire and law enforcement agencies to increase public education and create administrative citations and task forces, the sale and use of illegal fireworks has reached epidemic proportions. Because little or nothing is being done to stop the interdiction of these illegal, dangerous items into California, local jurisdictions have become not only the ‘first line of defense’, but the ‘only line of defense’ against illegal  fireworks!”

According to numerous experts, communities throughout the state are confronted with the scope of an illegal fireworks problem that requires a level of enforcement personnel that their budgets cannot support. For many years now, the Office of the State Fire Marshal has said, “Dangerous, illegal fireworks constitute a growing, serious threat to your family’s safety this 4th of July. Truckloads of large aerial shells, skyrockets, fire crackers and other illegal fireworks are being smuggled into California. Even though these illegal fireworks are prohibited in every community throughout our great State, they are responsible for almost all of the fireworks-caused fires and injuries each year. Remember, if it goes up in the air or explodes, it is dangerous and  illegal.”

“In its continuing efforts to protect Californians and their communities from illegal fireworks, TNT Fireworks is providing this vehicle through which fire and law enforcement agencies can solicit and gain the public’s help,” stated Revell. “No matter how skilled a community’s police and fire department is; they will benefit from their citizens’ help in identifying illegal fireworks violators. The Nail’em app allows their citizens to assist them by being their eyes and ears out there in the community so that, when it comes to illegal fireworks violators, we can say, ‘Use Illegal Fireworks? Smile! You’ve been  Nailed’!”

“Recent studies have shown that 9 out of 10 of us have our smartphone within arms’ reach all day, every day,” Revell commented. “However, we are strongly urging people to use the Nail’em app to document and report illegal fireworks sales and use in their community rather than repeatedly calling  911.”

During the beta testing of this app in 2016, consumers’ usage of it in participating communities throughout the state varied from extremely specific reports to brief ones like “Illegal fireworks being shot off at the corner of First and L Streets”. While the consumers’ and public safety departments’ response to the Nail’em app was extremely positive, TNT Fireworks felt that the beta testing indicated that it could make one significant improvement. First, in an effort to gain all the necessary information from the app user when making his/her report, a portion of the app was re-formatted so that it now makes specific, sequential queries of the reporting person as opposed to relying on them to know the specific details that they need to include in their report. Second, fire and law enforcement agencies advised TNT Fireworks that if there were more specific details in the app reports upon which they can act and issue administrative fines, citations or warnings, it would be extremely  helpful.

It should be noted that in many participating jurisdictions, police officers found the Nail’em app particularly useful for their officers to use in order to be able to cite individuals where it was too dangerous for a single officer to intervene. The Nail’em app allowed them to take the necessary photographic documentary evidence, capture the GPS coordinates of the activity, file a report and subsequently issue a citation, without putting themselves at  risk.

The Nail’em app is available today through the Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play and has been developed for both the iPhone and Android  platforms.

Since its entry into the California markets 29 years ago, TNT Fireworks has distinguished itself as a strong public safety partner in the 296 communities in California that it does business with as well as throughout the entire state. From its initial award-winning, public service announcements (PSA’s) featuring the late former President Ronald Reagan; to its PSA’s featuring television personality Ron Masak; to its Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Program; to its “Dangerous Games” video; to its “Private Eyes” campaign; to its two radio and television PSA’s featuring country music duo sensation “Brooks & Dunn”, and, most recently, its “Don’t Get Burned” safety video, TNT has received wide acclaim for its Fireworks Safety & Education Program from school districts, the media, the fire service, City Councils, Boards of Supervisors and the State of California, all noting the successful impact that they have had on 4th of July safety. (for further information see:

As an additional public service to local jurisdictions, TNT Fireworks monitors California social media platforms and provides in-depth reports on the online ads in social media for the sale of dangerous illegal fireworks. Copies of these social media reports can be found at on the “Illegal Fireworks: A serious threat to California” page at the link entitled, “2017 Illegal Fireworks  Ads”.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.