Fireworks safety during Canada Day celebrations in Toronto
The City of Toronto’s Fire Services reminds residents that safety precautions are important when using fireworks and sparklers at Canada Day celebrations this weekend.
“Fireworks can be dangerous – they have the potential to cause serious injury,”said Acting Fire Chief Ron Jenkins. “Responsible adults must supervise fireworks displays. If you plan to host your own display, please take the time to plan, prepare, prevent and protect.”
Toronto Fire Services would prefer to have families visit a public fireworks display in the community that is conducted by a professional fireworks display company. The following list of safety tips elaborating on the advice to “plan, prepare, prevent and protect” are for residents who intend to hold their own fireworks displays at home.
Plan the display:
– Fireworks displays are allowed without a permit only on designated holidays.
– Purchase fireworks from a retailer displaying a valid, City-issued fireworks vendor permit.
– Always read and follow the label directions on fireworks.
Prepare for a safe event:
– Fireworks and sparklers should be safely stored and kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer.
– Ensure that fireworks can be discharged a safe distance away from combustible materials, including buildings and trees.
– Before being lit, fireworks should be buried at least half their length down into a bucket of sand or earth. If portable firing bases are not available, plant the fireworks directly into the ground, making sure each piece is firmly supported before igniting.
– Always have water on hand from a garden hose – as well as a bucket of water in which to soak the fireworks after fired.
– Sparklers should only be used outdoors – never indoors.
– After use, sparklers should be doused with water or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time and can easily burn a child’s skin, clothing or nearby combustible material.
– Children should never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults must be responsible for handling all fireworks materials while spectators watch from a safe distance.- Fireworks are not meant to be hand-held.
– If someone is burned, immediately run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes as preliminary treatment.
Protect everyone participating/attending:
– Only one adult should ignite the fireworks.
– Only one fireworks item should be lit at a time.
– Light the fireworks at arm’s length, then stand back and keep your face turned away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for 10 to 15 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
– The adult igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of his or her body extended over the firework.
– People who have fireworks should never throw or point fireworks at other people, carry fireworks in their pockets, discharge fireworks from metal or glass containers, or discharge fireworks indoors.
Note: City parks may not be used for personal fireworks displays.
The City’s fireworks bylaw is a further source of information for those considering fireworks displays: http://www.toronto.ca/fire/bylaws.htm
More fire-related safety tips: http://www.toronto.ca/fire/prevention