Central Texas is already gearing up for New Year's. Fireworks in Texas officially went on sale Tuesday, and will run through January 1. According to Texas’ fireworks code, December is one of the 5 times a year that retailers are allowed to sell fireworks in Texas.
And there's no better way to light up 2017 than with old favorites like firecrackers and roman candles. “Your kitty section with sparklers and pop pops and all of that and then your assortments,” says American Fireworks Superstore Coordinator Debra Cahill describing other big sellers.
The retailer has been selling fireworks for more than two decades. They are known for their roughly 250 stands that dot highways across the state.
It's not legal to sell or set off fireworks around within the city limits of Austin but it is in unincorporated parts of Travis County. According to some of the rules and regulations listed on the Travis County Fire Marshal’s site: “Travis County is not restricting the sale of fireworks in unincorporated parts of the county during the upcoming holidays. In order for Commissioners Court to restrict fireworks sales, per Local Government Code 352.051, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI)* must register as more than 575 on average in the county. The Court must take action by December 15 to regulate restricted fireworks. At that time, the KBDI did not register as more than 575 on average in the county.”
Travis County is not under a burn ban either but the Austin Fire Department warns the dry, cold air mixed with low humidity could be a dangerous combination. On Tuesday AFD firefighters battled a 2 acre grass fire on Tuesday because of the dry conditions. The Texas A&M Forest Service lists Central Texas as having a moderate danger fire level. And AFD Division Chief Palmer Buck says “if we don’t see rain this weekend we expect to see more fires.”
According to the Texas A&M Forest service, there are 55 counties in Texas with burn bans, including Caldwell County and Bexar County
Debra Cahill says when setting fireworks off to remember to, “always have water near, that's very important. Anything you do you want to take every pre-caution possible and plan ahead.” When customers purchase fireworks, they walk out with them in a bag printed with safety tips:
- Never hold and/or light fireworks in your hand
- Never place fireworks on any part of your or another person's body
- Observe all local, state, and federal laws
- Use only under adult supervision
- Use in a clear, open areaLight one item at a time
- Do not consume alcohol, or use illegal drugs of any kind, when using fireworks
- Always read the warning labels and follow the directions on each firework
- Never carry fireworks in pockets
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Keep at a safe distance
- Never light near flammable materials
- Never experiment with homemade fireworks