Texas Living

Fireworks 101: Regulations and Safety

By Laura Byrom 7.2.14

For many Americans, the Fourth of July isn’t complete without backyard barbecues, parades, and best of all, fireworks. While fireworks can serve as the perfect crescendo to any celebration, it’s important to be aware of potential environmental and safety risks. As we gear up for this year’s Independence Day festivities, it’s time for a fireworks regulations and safety refresher.

Texas Fireworks Regulations

In Texas, burn bans and fireworks restrictions are determined by county government and city ordinances so before you partake, you’ll need to check with your local fire marshal to see if they’re legal in your area. Most cities in Texas prohibit the sale and use of fireworks within city limits and some even extend it to within 5,000 feet. Novelty items (snakes, snappers, sparklers, and poppers) however, can be sold and used within city limits. It’s also important to note that small rockets, commonly known as bottle rockets, are illegal in the state of Texas.

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks can be dangerous when used improperly so be sure to follow these basic safety procedures:

  • Buy fireworks from an established retail outlet.
  • Read the label and follow all instructions and warnings on proper use.
  • Have a responsible adult present.
  • Before lighting fireworks, make sure that other people are at a safe distance.
  • Keep water or a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergency.
  • Light one firework at a time.
  • Never throw fireworks at another person.
  • Don’t allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light malfunctioning fireworks; instead, soak them in water and throw them away.
  • Soak used fireworks in water before throwing them away.

Storing Leftover Fireworks

Because there is no expiration date on fireworks, you can save any leftovers you may have for another time. Just wrap them in newspaper or packing paper and place them in a box. Then store the box in a cool, dry place that’s well ventilated.

Have a safe and memorable Independence Day!

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