We covered firework laws several times in the past but it’s always a good reminder as we approach the Fourth of July weekend where fireworks are more than likely in your plans. Below are Texas’ top 10 firework laws you should consider before lighting the fuse. Remember though, laws may vary county to county.
And, don’t forget that any County Commissioners Court in Texas can issue a burn ban prohibiting burning of any kind – including fireworks anywhere in that county, whether within the incorporated city limits or not. Because sparklers burn at approximately 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, they count as fireworks / fire as well.
Fortunately, most of Central and East Texas are now out of county burn bans. To make sure your county is not under a burn ban, check out Texas A&M’ Forest Service’s MAP of Outdoor Burn Bans. Violating a burn ban is generally punishable by a $500 fine and sometimes also a criminal penalty, such as a Class C misdemeanor.
Top 10 Texas Firework Laws
- Fireworks can be sold from June 24th through July 4th and December 20th through January 1st. Each county commissioner’s court can also permit firework sales for Texas Independence Day (February 25th-March 2nd), San Jacinto Day (April 16th-21st) and Memorial Day (the Wednesday before Memorial Day through Memorial Day). If the retail fireworks store is located within 100 miles of the Texas-Mexico border, the store can also sell from May 1-5 for Cinco de May—as long as the county commissioner’s court approved the sale.
- It’s illegal to sell or shoot fireworks within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids, flammable compressed gasses or fireworks are sold or stored. …seems reasonable!
- Despite what you may have seen in the movies, it’s illegal to shoot fireworks from or towards a motor vehicle, including boats.
- It’s illegal to shoot fireworks from a public roadway, public property, park, lake or U.S. Corps of Engineer Property. …would hate to set a lake on fire…
- The minimum age to buy or sell fireworks is generally 16 years old. Though, it should probably be closer to 26 years old.
- It’s illegal to shoot fireworks within 600 feet of a church, hospital, day-care center or school. Personally, I wouldn’t feel great about going into surgery with a constant barrage of fireworks outside the building.
- It’s illegal to shoot fireworks within city limits and, in many cities, it’s also illegal to possess them. Selling, igniting or possessing fireworks within city limits can carry hefty fines approaching $2,000. Yet, country clubs keep getting away with it.
- 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. So, no blowing up the neighbor’s mailbox…without their permission!
- If you start a fire by shooting fireworks and it’s found to be started intentionally, you may be charged for arson. If the fire is found to be accidental, you may be subject to a fine. In either case, you could be held civilly liable for damages and that would seriously ruin your holiday weekend!
- Beginning January 2, 2008, bottle rockets (a.k.a. pop rockets) were banned. You know you’re addicted to fireworks if you built up a reserve supply of bottle rockets prior to the ban.
Here’s a list of fireworks shows in DFW this holiday weekend. Have a great (and safe) Independence Day!