5 Good Reasons to Not Shoot Fireworks in Houston This Fourth of July

Oh, sure, it's all "ooh, ahh" until your face is literally lit on fire.
Oh, sure, it's all "ooh, ahh" until your face is literally lit on fire. Photo by Jdmoar on Flickr
Fireworks stands are ubiquitous twice each year. The first time is right around Christmas leading up to New Year's Eve. The second is right now, just before the Fourth of July. Apparently, people take the whole Rockets red glare thing in the national anthem literally. The problem is that they can cause real problems mainly because, well, they are incendiary devices that are lit on fire and often explode. In short: they are dangerous.

But, if you need legit reasons not to use them, here are some good ones.

5. People on NextDoor are convinced it is gunfire.

No, seriously, the members of this sorta social media site focusing on neighbors are convinced everything is gunfire. Thunder? Car backfire? Dog barking? It's all gunfire. So, imagine tiny bombs exploding outside their windows. You think that day everyone was convinced the people putting up flyers for a law service were actually terrorists was bad? You ain't seen nothin' until the Fourth of July.

4. It's scares the crap out of animals.

If you have ever had to try and calm a dog terrified by a thunderstorm, you know what we mean. And, it's not just the fear and whining. Every year, dogs and cats, scared by the sound of fireworks, get away from their owners and are lost. It's not cool, so cut it out.

3. You'll put your eye out.

Ralphie was convinced he would be fine with his Red Rider BB gun, but even he broke his glasses and had to make up that lame excuse about the icicle falling on him. But, you get shot in the face with a roman candle or have a Black Cat go off in your hand when you are trying to fling it at your buddy and the fuse burns faster than you expected, you'll realize we were right.

2. You could set your house on fire...or worse yet, mine.

In summer especially when there are often hot, dry conditions, houses are routinely set ablaze thanks to a stray rocket. And even if a house doesn't burn down, a misplaced explosion can leave holes in roofs and do some serious damage. You'd feel pretty stupid if your parents' house was on fire because you shot some stupid canon you got for five bucks at it.

1. It's illegal.

Inside the city limits of Houston, fireworks are a no-no. You could get fined up to $2,000 per firework you shoot. Suddenly, those "buy one, get four free" last-minute deals at the fireworks stand 500 feet outside the city limits don't sound so good, do they? They are illegal for a reason. Let the professionals handle the exploding stuff. Just stand around and "ooh" and "ahh" like a normal person.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke