New Year's Eve fireworks not allowed everywhere

December 31, 2011 4:58:43 AM PST
After weeks of on and off rain, the burn bans are over and that means fireworks for New Year's Eve. But there are a lot of rules you'll have to follow if you want to celebrate with sparklers.

Fireworks sales are booming, and at Top Dog Fireworks Warehouse near Highway 290 and Huffmeister, sales can be characterized even as "explosive." If fact, employees say had the best single day of sales they've ever had company-wide on Friday.

"It's been a long year, gotta blow stuff up," said Stephen Binford, who's buying fireworks.

Customers say they missed having their street shows last summer.

"We never have enough! There's no such thing as having enough fireworks," resident Gary Pugh said.

The record-setting drought forced a ban on amateur fireworks shows across Houston, Harris County and in many other communities last Fourth of July.

While burn bans in many places have been lifted now, it is illegal still to use or even posses fireworks in the city of Houston. Same goes for some unincorporated areas of Harris County. The Houston Fire Department is treating violators seriously.

"This year, there's gonna be no warnings. The fines are strict and they're heavy," Houston Fire Department Capt. Ruy Lozano said.

So if you fire off any fireworks or even get caught with one in the city of Houston, you can be fined up to $2,000.

"For every firework that goes off, for every explosion, you can be fined for each individual offense," Lozano said.

And if a child is caught lighting fireworks, authorities say it is the parent who will be fined, whether they were aware of the illegal activity or not. That said, those who went without last fourth are spending hundreds for the 31st are telling us they will only light theirs, where it's legal.

If you do live in an unincorporated part of Harris County, check to see if fireworks are allowed in your area.

To report anyone using fireworks illegally, call the Houston Police Department at 713-884-3131.

Load Comments