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Fire officials urge caution with fireworks in dry conditions ahead of NYE

HOUSTON – There are hundreds of fireworks stands in counties around the Houston area. In Harris County, there are nearly 500 structures according to Cpt. Todd Mitchell of the Harris County Fire Inspections Office.

The period to sell fireworks in Texas is a ten-day window leading up to two holidays: New Years Day and July 4.

The Texas Department of Insurance says are four other dates throughout the year that have options to sell fireworks, but that discretion is left up to individual counties.

TDI also says, “You can use fireworks any day of the year as long as they are not banned in the area you live.”

Who inspects fireworks stands?

The Harris County Fire Inspections Office looks into every fireworks stand in the county by New Years Day. It’s a tall order according to Mitchell, but the department is focused on ensuring safety.

“We go and look at everything for general electrical to fire and safety hazzards,” Mitchell said.

However, the concern extends beyond just the stands themselves.

“Just the use of (fireworks). If people are going to use them, they use them properly,” Mitchell said.

What are stand owners saying?

“I think we have everything,” said Lisa Arnold as she and her team were getting four stands ready for business off the Beltway and Cullen Blvd.

For the last fifteen years Arnold has been opening up stands around the area, the day after Christmas. Arnold said Thursday that aside from selling fireworks, she and her team also educate the public not only on proper usage but also on the ideal location to set off fireworks, which are banned in most cities.

Safety

Harris County officials are asking residents to be safe as they enjoy the New Year. See a list of fireworks safety tips from local fire officials here.

Residents are asked to report the illegal use of selling or use of fireworks in unincorporated areas of Harris County at 281-999-2200 or email fmosupport@fmo.hctx.net.