DALLAS, Tx. (KDAF) — The Texas Department of Insurance wants you and your family and friends to enjoy shooting fireworks on New Year’s Eve, but they also want you to be aware of the dangers and how to safely use fireworks.

First, TDI notes that the best and safest way to experience fireworks during the holidays is to find a professional show in or near your area. However, if you plan to put on a show of your own, here’s what you need to know.

  • Follow local city/county rules:
    • “Some areas allow only certain types of fireworks, and most areas don’t allow fireworks within city limits or during burn bans. Follow the local law and contact your local fire officials if you have questions.”
  • Hire a professional
    • “If you hire someone to put on a display for your group, make sure they have a Texas pyrotechnic operator’s license. To find out if someone has a Texas license, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 800-578-4677 or Fire.Marshal@tdi.texas.gov.”
  • When are fireworks legal?
    • “Fireworks can be sold only certain times of the year, typically during a week or so leading up to a major holiday. Besides Fourth of July and New Year’s, Texas counties have the choice of also including Texas Independence Day (March 2), San Jacinto Day (April 21), Cinco de Mayo (May 5), and Memorial Day.”
    • “You can use fireworks any day of the year as long as they are not banned in the area you live.”
  • Safety first
    • Children should not use fireworks. Make sure an adult is always watching.
    • Remember: Alcohol and fireworks are a bad mix.
    • Follow the instructions on the firework.
    • Avoid shooting fireworks near dry grass, brush, or other materials that can easily catch on fire.
    • Never aim fireworks where they could land on a house or hit a person.
    • Have a bucket of water, garden hose, or other water source ready for emergencies.