Fourth of July is just days away. Maybe you want to grill at twilight. It could be you're excited to avoid dawn's early light on your day off from work. Maybe you'll proudly hail your patriotic pride on Independence Day, waving a star-spangled banner.
But if you want to take a flame, touch it to a small incendiary device and watch it bursting in air, you might need a few of these tips to remain free in the home of the brave.
Where can I shoot fireworks?
Not in Tyler
All fireworks are illegal in city limits. People should shoot their stash off in areas outside city limits.
Some places in Smith County
Fireworks labeled as "Fireworks 1.4G" are permissible with the exception of skyrockets and bottle rockets.
The best place to shoot fireworks is on private property with the permission of the property owner, and where that property lies outside of any incorporated city.
But just Don't ...
ignite fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, asylum, childcare center, school or college without written permission
ignite fireworks within 100 feet of a location where fireworks are sold or stored
ignite or discharge fireworks from a moving vehicle
put fireworks in or throw them at any motor vehicle
Homemade improperly labeled fireworks
Bottle rockets or stick rockets that do not meet these three requirements— length must be at least 15 inches, the casing must be no less than 5/8 inch in diameter, and the casing must be no less than 3 1/2 inches long — plus one of the following criteria: overall length must be 26 inches long, the casing must be 3/4 inch in outside diameter or the casing must be 5 inches long.
Fireworks labeled as "Fireworks 1.3G" are only legally sold to and possessed by those with a valid pyrotechnic license. (Possession or use is an automatic class B misdemeanor.)
Most fireworks violations are class C misdemeanors with fines up to $200.
If the violation leads to damage of property that exceeds $200 or causes serious bodily injury or death, the violation is a class B misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to a $2,000 fine and/or 180 days in county jail.
How late can i put on a show?
While there are no time restrictions for fireworks, if a complaint is made, a citation for Disorderly Conduct by Loud Noise (Class C Misdemeanor) can be issued at the discretion of the officer. Usually this is only done in extreme circumstances when other means of settling the issue have been ignored.
Call Smith County Fire Marshal's Office: 903-590-2652
Call Tyler Fire Department: 903-535-0005
OK, maybe I'll just watch a display
2.5 million: In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
318.4 million: The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.
56: Numbers of signers to the Declaration of Independence.
July 4, 1777: First celebration of Independence Day in Philadelphia, the then-capital
1870: Congress makes July Fourth a federal holiday
6.1 billion pounds: Estimated production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2013. (There is a decent chance the hot dogs, steaks and burgers for your cookout came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for almost one-sixth of U.S. production.)