Explosive Sounds at Night are Likely Illegal Fireworks, Police Say


Local residents have reported to the Richmond Standard about hearing random explosions in Richmond and El Cerrito.

“What are those big bangs like fire crackers at all times in Richmond,” one reader wrote in.

Another added: “For the past month or so, we have been hearing this in El Cerrito too, each night around 8:30-10:30 p.m. They sound like homemade fireworks, but every night for a month? That is a lot of booming.”

Setting off fireworks is illegal in Richmond.

We’ve called into the Richmond police to see if the department’s Shotspotter activation system — which can pinpoint the location of a gunshot in the city — could confirm whether the explosions are indeed fireworks. Police spokesperson Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said the Shotspotter system only registers gunshots, as it filters out sounds made by fireworks.

However, Abetkov said the department has recently received numerous reports about fireworks.

“We have had calls come in over the past month for fireworks to include M80s and other stuff like that,” she said. “It is not unusual for us to have these things going off about a month away from Fourth of July.”

Abetkov encourages anyone with reports or concerns about the explosions to contact the police department.

In April, multiple unexplained explosions (http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/03/31/the-unsolved-mystery-of-the-berkeley-boom/) occurred in the city of Berkeley, with concerned residents posting reports on Twitter using #berkeleyboom.