The 4th of July is less than a month away, and while it may look a bit different from previous years due to the coronavirus, many people in Texas are still planning to celebrate in a familiar way – with fireworks. Whether you plan on attending a public display and social distancing or celebrating right at home, make sure you obey state and local firework laws. Keep firework safety in mind as well for an Independence Day that is free from personal injuries. Consult with your Dallas personal injury attorney if you are a victim of an injury with fireworks.
Are Fireworks Legal in Texas?
Texas law permits the use of fireworks in the state by consumers. You do not need a special fireworks display license to purchase or use fireworks in Texas. Texas citizens may only purchase fireworks, however, from June 24 to July 4, as well as from December 20 to January 1. You must be at least 16 to buy or sell fireworks.
If you purchase consumer fireworks, you must only light them if you are at least 100 feet from flammable liquids, compressed gasses or other fireworks. You must also be at least 600 feet from any daycare center, school, church or hospital. You cannot shoot fireworks toward motor vehicles, boats, public property, public roadways, public parks or lakes in Texas. Fireworks are only legal for consumer use in Texas with several important restrictions.
Section 2154.003 of Texas’ firework law bans skyrocket and bottle rocket fireworks with propellant charges of less than 4 grams, a casing size of less than 5/8 of an inch for outside diameter and less than 3 ½ inches in length, and an overall length of less than 15 inches. It also prohibits any fireworks the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission deems unacceptable. If found in possession of illegal fireworks in Texas, you could face fines and the seizure of the fireworks.
Fireworks Are Illegal Within Dallas City Limits
Texas’ universal firework law allows municipalities to enforce their own restrictions. You must, therefore, look into your city or county’s specific fireworks regulations before buying or using fireworks where you live. Most cities in Texas do not permit fireworks, meaning you must travel to an unincorporated area to shoot them. Check for countywide burn bans before doing so. You will also need to own property or get permission from the property owner.
Dallas is one example of a major city in Texas that has made consumer fireworks illegal. In Dallas, no one may purchase, use or even possess fireworks within city limits. It is also illegal to light fireworks within 5,000 feet of the City of Dallas. The fine for disobeying Dallas’ firework ban can be as much as $2,000. Discharging a firearm in Dallas is also illegal. Firing a gun on the 4th of July could lead to a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Staying Safe While Using Fireworks in Texas
Leave fireworks to the professionals for optimal safety this 4th of July. Attending a professional fireworks display can keep you and your family safe from injury risks. It could also let you enjoy the show without worrying about breaking a city or state firework law. If you still wish to use fireworks on your own, follow a few general safety tips.
- Never give a child a firework. Even sparklers burn at temperatures that can melt metal.
- Only use fireworks if you have not been drinking alcohol.
- Go someplace safe and legal, far away from any structures or public properties.
- Avoid shooting fireworks near dry grass, underbrush or other flammable items.
- Shoot fireworks straight into the sky, not toward anyone or anything.
- Keep a bucket of water and fire extinguisher nearby in case of fires.
Every year, firework accidents cause thousands of fires, burns and serious personal injuries. Common firework-related injuries include severe burns, traumatic amputations, head injuries, eye injuries and finger injuries. If a firework causes a structural fire, it could also cause serious burn injuries or deaths. Save yourself and your family from potential disaster by going to a professional fireworks show in Texas this year rather than doing one on your own.