Fireworks in ETX may not be entirely safe to fly this New Year

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) – With one of the most popular times for fireworks at hand, Fire Marshals are busy spreading the safety first message, while vendors are hoping to tap into pent-up consumer demand.

"What happened in July was a real unique circumstance it was obviously the right call to ban them but you know New Year's Eve's falling on a Saturday this year it's a good scenario we've had a lot of good weather and you know we're  excited," said Bart Carr, owner, Pyroshack Fireworks.

Colorful, sparkly, alluring fireworks line the shelves of stands across East Texas promising excitement for consumers.  "Be smart keep those fireworks out of the hands of the children," said Steve McCool, Lufkin Fire Marshal.

The doors are back open this New Year's holiday.  Firework stands dot the landscape along major travel routes.  They have plenty of merchandise and for Carr with every sale a word of caution comes.  "Always we always preach safety."

That word of caution goes for all fireworks with an emphasis to parents buying sparklers.  "Even the sparklers, they reach 1200 degrees and they're not even designed to be held in the hands of children.  In fact sparklers are one of the leading causes of burn injuries in children with fireworks," said McCool.

McCool says do not let a wet December and nice cool temperatures fool you.  "Even now with the weather we've had we have more dead trees we have more fuel on the ground.  Even though it's rained that stuff can dry really quick and it can give you a false sense of security and there's a significant fire hazard out there even now."

McCool says remember to stay clear of lighted fireworks that do not go off.  "Don't pick them up because they could still go off and cause serious injuries."

"We always tell people if you're going to pop a lot wear safety glasses and use common sense, there's simply no substitute for common sense," said Carr.

Every year there are hundreds of house fires alone caused by fireworks which serve as a real reminder of their danger and the need to manage and handle them properly.

Some local vendors are already reporting increased sales over the same period last year and they say those numbers can only get better during the last minute rush to buy fireworks in the hours leading up to midnight Saturday night.

While there are some areas in East Texas that allow the use of fireworks, McCool says if you are caught with fireworks within the city limits of Lufkin you will be ticketed and your fireworks will be confiscated.

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