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Are Fireworks Allowed in Westchase?

Each July some explosive Independence Day celebrations prompt Westchase complaints.

Since it’s “legal” to buy fireworks in Hillsborough County, it must be all right to use them in the community, right?

You might be surprised by the actual answer.

Under state law, it’s illegal to buy, sell or explode fireworks in parks, beaches or even on your own property except under very specific circumstances. What are they?

In unincorporated Hillsborough County you need to be using them to scare birds from your farm or fish hatchery or to light or clear a path for your train.

They don’t mean your toy one.

When you buy fireworks in the state, you even sign a waiver promising you’re buying them to do those things. If you violate the waiver, you’ve broken the law.

More specific restrictions exist closer to home. When all Westchase homeowners buy houses, they sign a legally binding agreement that they will abide by all Westchase Community Association (WCA) deed restrictions. Article XII, Section 11 of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions specifically states, "Fireworks that explode, move or make noise are prohibited anywhere within the Properties."

Homeowners who use fireworks – or whose children or renters do so – can face significant fines from the Westchase Community Association (WCA). When neighbors bring complaints, the association enforces the rule.

Over the years, residents have attended meetings of the Westchase Community Association to complain about fireworks waking children or frightening pets. Others have brought complaints of holes burned in lanai screens and even damage to cars.

While you might be tempted to become the neighborhood entertainment committee, it’s safer and smarter to leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Your neighbors with young children and pets – and perhaps even your wallet – will thank you for it.

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