Hays County Fire Marshal: Know the Laws about Fireworks
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Hays County Fire Marshal Clint Browning wants consumers to learn about fireworks safety and the main laws that govern use of fireworks.
It is illegal to sell or shoot fireworks within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids, flammable compressed gasses or fireworks are sold or stored.
Despite what you may have seen in the movies, it is illegal to shoot fireworks from or towards a motor vehicle, including boats.
It is illegal to shoot fireworks from a public roadway, public property, park, lake or U.S. Corps of Engineer property.
The minimum age to buy or sell fireworks was recently changed from 12 to 16.
It is illegal to shoot fireworks within 600 feet of a church, hospital, day-care center or school.
It is illegal to shoot fireworks within city limits and, in many cities, it’s also illegal just to possess them.
In unincorporated areas where fireworks are legal, you may only shoot off fireworks if you own property there, or if you receive written permission from a property owner.
If you start a fire by shooting fireworks and the fire was found to be started intentionally, you may be subject to the charge of arson. If the fire is found to be accidental, you may be subject to a fine. In either case, you may be held civilly liable for damages.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Always have an adult supervise all fireworks activities. Children can suffer injuries even from sparklers, which parents often assume are “safe.” Sparklers can burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
To prevent a trash fire, douse spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding.