SAN ANTONIO – If you plan to light up the sky this New Year’s Eve, keep safety in mind.
Only those who live in unincorporated areas are allowed to set off fireworks, and violations could cost you a misdemeanor and a fine of up to $2,000.
“It’s a big business and people like the big stuff that goes up in the air," Luke Girdley, president of Alamo Fireworks, said.
Fireworks have been a tradition for decades, but they can be dangerous.
“These are explosives. They’re not toys.” Girdley said. “You want to make sure you're careful.”
He is not the only one preaching safety first.
Fireworks vendors across the region are urging their customers to use common sense when celebrating with fireworks.
“When you buy your firework, there will be pictures on the side that will show you how to light it and what not to do,” Girdley said. “It’s very important to follow those."
The Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office is most concerned about mortars and rockets.
“If it goes up in the air, it’s going to come back down," Fire Marshall Chris Lopez said. The concern is highlighted by the fact that the area has seen a mostly dry fall.
“If you got a 5-10 mph wind, it (the wind) could push it (the firework) 100-200 feet from the location you ignited the firework at," Lopez said.
Lopez urges people to keep children away from fireworks, have a water hose nearby and make sure to soak the fireworks remains before putting them into the trash bin.
The county is also setting up its illegal fireworks hotline. People in Bexar County can call 210-335-FIRE (3473) to report people shooting off fireworks illegally.
The hotline will be activated on Thursday and will run through New Year’s Day.