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December 13, 2016

Displaying fireworks for a group? You may need a permit

New Year’s Eve is known for parties, and it’s the second most popular times for fireworks. Did you know that a permit may be required for individuals or groups putting on a fireworks show attended by 50 people?

“A lot of people are surprised when they hear that, but it’s a matter of safety and the law,” said State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy. “State law says you need to have a permit from a local fire authority if you’re having a fireworks show for a group of 50 or more people.”

That includes neighborhood groups, community organizations, and individuals. If you hire someone to put on display for your group, ask if they have a permit with the local fire department or county fire marshal.

“A licensed operator is responsible for getting that permit and being on site during the display,” Connealy said. The operator must also provide proof of liability insurance to cover any damage that may occur.”

Anyone setting off fireworks, even smaller displays, should be aware of local rules and follow basic safety precautions. The State Fire Marshal’s Office offers these tips to make your New Year’s Eve fireworks safer:

  • Most communities do not allow fireworks use within the city limits or restrict them to certain types of devices. Follow the local law and contact fire officials if you have questions.
  • Children should not use fireworks. Make sure an adult is always present and supervising.
  • Use fireworks on a hard, level surface, in an open area.
  • Avoid shooting fireworks near dry grass, brush, or other flammable material.
  • Don’t aim fireworks where they could land on a house or other structure.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at other people.
  • Have a bucket of water, garden hose, or other water source available for emergencies.
  • And remember, alcohol and fireworks are a bad mix.

If you have questions about fireworks or fireworks permitting call the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (512) 676-6800.

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 12/13/2016