The fourth of July is less than a week away. Yeah, I know, right? Seemed to creep up on us this year. Only six days left to stock up on snakes, sparklers, and bottle rockets (wait those aren’t allowed anymore – more on that below) – Maybe just refresh your potato salad recipe and opt for an area fireworks show conducted by the city/county?
In the state of Texas, it is not illegal to use fireworks. However, there are many specifications as to where they can be used, the times they can be used, and when they can be sold. Fireworks in Texas as defined by the CPSC and DOT are permitted with the newly added exception of small propellant rockets. Due to the massive injuries each year from irresponsible use of rockets, they have been banned from use in the state of Texas.
It’s important to remember that fireworks cannot be set off in just any backyard. Most cities prohibit fireworks from being used within city limits, forcing DIY firework displays elsewhere within the county. Be sure to check your city’s regulations before planning your cul de sac firework party. If you do make your way out the country stay as far away from barns as possible. Texas is often extremely dry during the summer, county burn bans ignite quickly and burn to the ground before you know it.
Firework vendors are encouraged to pass along the following safety guidelines with every firework purchase:
- Buy fireworks only from licensed retail outlets
- Follow directions carefully – with close adult supervision
- Never experiment with homemade or altered fireworks
- Use fireworks outdoors, in a safe area away from dry grass and buildings
- Before you enjoy fireworks, get permission from the property owner
- Keep a bucket of water, wet towels, and a garden hose handy
- Light one firework at a time – then move back quickly!
- Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
- Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals
Ok, those are all really self-explanatory. Let’s dive a little deeper here.
- Eye protection – especially for the individual lighting the fireworks (shooter), is encouraged. Don’t listen to Jerry – you look super cool!
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix – we’re looking at you, Jerry.. Have a designated shooter.
- Never attempt to re-light a firework…just don’t do it. We’ve told you time and time again, Jerry. You always think there’s more “bang” coming.
- Never have any portion of your body over the firework – Again, Jerry – you’re not cool for jumping over the fountain of sparks. Go home, you’re drunk.
- Oh, M-80’s are illegal – and we’re not putting that in Hilda’s mailbox. Why don’t you put in your mailbox, Jerry.
- Keep pets indoors.
- Never give a sparkler to a child under five – and throw on a pair of garden gloves on the kids to avoid small spark burns.