However, if the family decides to stay in the neighborhood this Independence Day, there are few things to know about fireworks, according to local officials and offices of emergency management:
- fireworks are not permitted within Katy and Fulshear city limits;
- in unincorporated areas of Harris and Fort Bend counties, it is legal to light fireworks with some restrictions;
- keep children away from fireworks—even sparklers—and always have an adult supervise fireworks activities;
- keep pets inside the house;
- light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly;
- have a water source, such as a garden hose or bucket of water, ready for emergencies;
- never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully; and
- be considerate of neighbors: Avoid aiming fireworks at houses and people and stop at a reasonable hour.
“We want people to enjoy the Fourth of July. … But we also want folks to be considerate of their neighbors,” said Carole Lamont, a legislative aid to Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack. “More often than not there’s a lack of consideration and just a lack of safety.”
Lamont said Radack’s office receives many calls and letters each year from residents—such as mothers with infants, pet owners and veterans—in unincorporated areas who are worried about the use of fireworks near their property.
“There are folks out there that are genuinely fearful to leave their homes when they see people setting fireworks off because they’re afraid that the [firework] is going to land on their roof, and they’re going to come home to a burnt-down house,” she said.