Things you should know before buying and using fireworks

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Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Know the laws on fireworks before you buy
Know the laws on fireworks before you buy

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Are you buying fireworks for the holiday? If so, here are some things you should know before buying and using fireworks.

It is legal to buy, possess and use fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Harris and other counties, but there are places you cannot use fireworks, even in unincorporated areas of the county.

Fireworks are illegal within the city limits of most cities. Check your local area for specific law regarding fireworks.

Here are some guidelines from the fire marshal's office on the use of fireworks, even in areas where it is permitted.

A person may NOT:

  • Pop fireworks within 600 feet of any church, a hospital other than a veterinary hospital, an asylum, a licensed child care center, or a public or private primary or secondary school or institution of higher education unless the person receives authorization in writing from that organization. You must have the written permission with you at the site and it must be available for inspection by any peace officer or fire marshal.
  • Sell at retail, explode, or ignite fireworks within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids or flammable compressed gasses are stored and dispensed.
  • Explode or ignite fireworks within 100 feet of a place where fireworks are stored or sold.
  • Ignite or discharge fireworks in or from a motor vehicle.
  • Place ignited fireworks in, or throw ignited fireworks at, a motor vehicle.
  • Use fireworks, pyrotechnics, or flame effects inside any building without a permit from the county fire marshal.

Before you shoot fireworks:

  • Do not let your children buy fireworks without adult supervision.
  • Only buy from reliable fireworks sellers.

Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.

  • Make sure to store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Find a smooth, flat surface away from the house and other buildings, or dry leaves and grass.
  • Be sure to have water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
  • Always have adult supervision.

When you are ready to pop fireworks:

  • Always read and follow label directions, warnings, and instructions.
  • Be considerate of your neighbors.
  • Only ignite fireworks outdoors and away from houses and other buildings.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never give fireworks to small children. Even sparklers can cause serious burns.
  • Never throw fireworks at another person, vehicle, or animal.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks properly: Please be mindful of how you dispose your fireworks. Watering any leftover material can ensure that it will not re-spark or be flammable again.