AFD reminds public that fireworks are illegal in city limits

Austin
Fireworks debris across the street from an apartment complex that caught fire Jan. 1, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

Fireworks debris across the street from an apartment complex that caught fire Jan. 1, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Fireworks sales begin Wednesday, and with Independence Day coming up, the Austin Fire Department wants to give out a few reminders to everybody.

The first thing, AFD says, is that fireworks are illegal inside the city limits. Not only are they illegal to use in city limits, they are also illegal to possess and sell in city limits and within 5,000 feet of the city limits.

The fine for a fireworks violation is $568, but if the fireworks hurt someone or damage property, an assault or arson charge is possible. Both are felonies.

All fireworks complaint calls should be made to Austin 3-1-1, not 9-1-1, AFD says. The Austin Police Department will respond to fireworks calls through the 3-1-1 system.

Certain popular Fourth of July items not considered fireworks by the U.S. Department of Transportation are legal inside city limits, AFD says.

  • Sparklers with wooden sticks, not wire sticks
  • Smoke bombs
  • Glow worms or snakes
  • Poppers, trick noisemakers or snappers

AFD says that even though they are legal, they are still dangerous and could start a fire, so be careful when using them.

The Austin Symphony Orchestra canceled its annual Fourth of July concert and fireworks show at Vic Mathias Shores because of COVID-19 concerns. It’s only had to cancel one other time in its more than 40 year history.

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