It's a Blast: Local Fireworks Stands Preach Safety

Today is the first day fireworks can be sold in Texas for the Fourth of July celebration, and retailers set up in the unincorporated parts of Harris County are warning customers to be safe.

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Fireworks are illegal within Houston city limits, but outside the city, dozens of stands pop-up this time every year, selling everything from the inexpensive old standby, Black Cat firecrackers, to elaborate and pricy aerial displays. Sam Broadway owns a fireworks store off of 290 and says safety education has helped in recent years. He says while the sale of fireworks have increased over the past few year, injuries have gone down.

Fireworks retailers have voluntarily pulled bottle rockets and other finned missile-type displays off their shelves because of dry conditions. Broadway says the same thing happened a few years ago when conditions were even drier. He recommends customer have a bucket of water or a hose nearby when they're using fireworks.

He says it's illegal to buy or set-off fireworks in most area cities. In the past, law enforcement agencies have staked-out fireworks stands and given cititations to customers who tried to bring fireworks back into the city.

A fireworks safety campaign featuring almost 50 billboards also kicked-off today.

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