New rules in place for personal fireworks
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If you’re planning on celebrating the New Year with fireworks, there are some new rules to keep an eye out for.
The ongoing drought has prompted local leaders to bad certain types of fireworks.
"The bottle rockets. any rocket with a stick on it, and any missile with a fin on it is banned," Thomas Brownson with Half Off Fireworks said.
As usual, all firework use is banned within the city of Austin, but the county-wide burn ban has kept these types of fireworks off the table even outside of the city.
"We saw this about five years ago, where it was about this dry and between midnight and 12:30 a.m. we had 76 fires started by fireworks," Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said.
But fireworks experts say if you use legal fireworks the right way, you can still light up the sky to celebrate.
"Shoot fire works the way they're intended to be shot,” Brownson said. "Stay out of the grassy areas, you know, shoot them on a gravel driveway, cement or something like that."
Officials also recommend having a hose or other water source nearby in case of an emergency. About half of those emergencies that result in an injury involve children.
"You can pretty much guarantee that every single year we're going to see fireworks injuries here in the ER.," Dr. Sujit Iyer with Dell Children’s Hospital said.
Those injuries can have lasting remifications, often affecting a person's hands or face.
Doctors say there really is no safe way to play with fire.
"But if you make the decision to use fireworks and play with them, just try to keep your kids as far away as possible from them," Dr. Iyer said.
And if you want to leave the fireworks up to the professionals, you can still enjoy a light show at Austin's New Year, a free family-friendly party which kicks off a 5 p.m. at Auditorium Shores. The fireworks are scheduled to go off at 10 p.m.