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Observing Katy Fireworks Laws, Warnings, and Etiquette


KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

December 27, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

For many Katy residents, ringing in the New Year means setting off fireworks. Planning this part of the holiday celebration requires understanding the local laws, observing safe practices and overall etiquette before enjoying the bright lights and loud pops.

The first step to fireworks education is understanding the laws of your county. Katy is part of Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller counties. Some neighborhoods are located in both the City of Katy proper and unincorporated areas.



Understand Your Area’s Laws

City of Katy - Fireworks are strictly forbidden inside the City of Katy limits.

Unincorporated County Areas - Fireworks are legal in unincorporated county areas in Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller (outside of Katy proper) unless there is a fire ban and as long as the fireworks used are legal and set off in a safe place.


Legal vs. Illegal Fireworks

So what is a "legal firework?" Most fireworks purchased from certified and licensed fireworks stands are legal.

Residents are warned not to purchase fireworks from a vendor selling fireworks out of a back of a pickup truck or on the side of road "Please use common sense," explains Fort Bend County Constable Chad Norvell. "If your fireworks have an extra boom from others then something may not be right."

Stay Safe

Everyone is at risk of injuries when fireworks are involved. A few years ago a Katy student was seriously injured. Read more about his story here. He knew what he was doing and still got hurt.


It's important to understand these tips to help keep everyone safe.

1. Open Area and Distance - Set off fireworks in an open area, not up against a house. Fireworks can not be set off within 600 feet of a school (even if it's not in session,) church, hospital or gas station.

2. Read the Instructions - Ask questions when purchasing your fireworks.


3. Not for Children - Fireworks should only be handled by adults.




4. Impaired Judgment - Be responsible and let those adults not drinking light the fireworks.


"Lighting fireworks is no different than having a designated driver. Alcohol will slow your reaction time and that time could result in injury when lighting fireworks," says Constable Norvell.

5. Water source - ALWAYS have a water source nearby and douse everything before throwing it out.

Don't Forget Your Pets

Many pets go missing during New Year's Eve because the noise and lights can be terrifying, so they run and hide.

Pet experts recommend bringing outside pets indoors and even putting them in an interior room to help minimize the sound and prevent them going through a window. Tips to keep pets safe:

  • Keep pets inside

  • Keeps pets in interior rooms away from windows

  • Verify they have proper identification (tags and microchips)



Fireworks Etiquette

While some neighborhoods request the ceasing of fireworks after midnight, residents should know not to shoot off fireworks during odd hours that could upset families.

If you do plan to shoot off fireworks let your neighbors know your intentions so they can prepare children and pets for the noise. Remember it's important to be safe, courteous, and considerate to your Katy neighbors.


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