Get to know Austin's fireworks ordinance before celebrating New Year's

The New Year's holiday is upon us, and it's important to be familiar with the City of Austin's fireworks ordinance before starting your celebration.

The City of Austin states that it is illegal to use or sell fireworks within city limits.

However, the U.S. Department of Transportation does have a list of items that are not classified as fireworks, making their use allowed within Austin city limits:

  • Snake, GlowWorms – Pressed pellet of pyrotechnic composition that produces a large, snakelike ash upon burning. The ash expands in length as the pellet burns. These devices may not contain mercuric thiocyanate.
  • Smoke Device – Tube or sphere containing pyrotechnic composition that, upon ignition, produces white or colored smoke as the primary effect.
  • Wire Sparkler – Wire coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition. These items may not contain magnesium and must not exceed 100g of composition per item. Devices containing any chlorate or perchlorate salts may not exceed 5g of composition per item.
  • Trick Noisemaker – Item produces a small report intended to surprise the user. 
  • Party Popper – Small plastic or paper item containing not more than 16mg of explosive composition that is friction-sensitive. A string protruding from the device is pulled to ignite it, expelling paper streams and producing a small report.
  • Booby Trap – Small tube with string protruding from both ends, similar to a party popper in design. The ends of the string are pulled to ignite the friction-sensitive composition, producing a small report.
  • Snapper – Small, paper-wrapped item containing a minute quantity of explosive composition coated on small bits of sand. When dropped, the device explodes, producing a small report.
  • Trick Match – Kitchen or book match that has been coated with a  small quantity of explosive or pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition of the match, a small report or a shower of sparks is produced.
  • Cigarette Load – Small wooden peg that has been coated with a small quantity of explosive or pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition of the match, a small report or a shower of sparks is produced.
  • Auto Burglar Alarm – A tube which contains pyrotechnic composition that produces a loud whistle and/or smoke when ignited. A small quantity of explosive, not exceeding 50mg, also may be used to produce a small report. A squib is used to ignite the device.

**While no permit is required for the devices above, users should follow all of the Manufacturer’s safety, handling, and storage recommendations and these devices should always be used in a safe outdoor location.

The storage, use, and handling of any other type of firework not listed above is illegal in the City of Austin. Those who see illegal fireworks being used are urged to call 311 to make a report. The Fire Marshal’s Office issues citations for violating the fireworks ordinance, and vigorously prosecutes those responsible for starting fires as a result of fireworks. 

To learn more about the City of Austin’s fireworks ordinance, visit

New Years Eve final preparations underway in Times Square despite COVID surge
New Year's Eve: Omicron mutes celebrations as many hope for better 2022
LL Cool J's NYE performance canceled after rapper tests positive for COVID-19
SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter