fireworks

Everyday Life

Having a Safe Fireworks Experience

Fireworks are a beautiful tradition in Canada for Victoria Day, Canada Day, and New Year’s Eve, but it is important to take safety precautions when we celebrate and to remember that fireworks can be dangerous and have the potential to cause serious harm. According to the Canada Safety Council, injuries related to fireworks peak on special days.

To help ensure you have a safe celebration, here are some tips on how to handle fireworks.

Check local regulations. If you do not have fireworks certification from Natural Resources Canada you can only set off “consumer fireworks” at your celebration. Either way, always check municipal or provincial requirements that may be in place in your community to help control the use of fireworks in your area.  You should also purchase your fireworks from a reputable vendor.

Read the instructions.  Each firework device has different cautions, warnings, and instructions. Make sure you read each package and understand its use. If the fireworks’ packaging doesn’t show the contents, warnings and directions, don’t use them.

Set up smartly.  Fireworks should only be lit outdoors in an open space and away from dry grass, trees, plants, buildings, vehicles, and flammable objects.  They should be lit on a hard, level surface.

Check the wind direction.  Set up for your fireworks display so the wind is blowing away from spectators, buildings, and trees.

Keep back. When lighting fireworks, make sure no part of your body is directly above the device. As soon as it is lit, move away quickly. Spectators should stay well back from the fireworks display at all times.  Ensure all children are supervised.

Be prepared.  Have a bucket of sand, supply of water, and a fire extinguisher nearby and readily available.

Sparkle safely.  Sparklers may seem like harmless fun, however, they can reach temperatures of 650°C.  They also remain very hot after burning out.  Once they’re done, they should be immersed in a bucket of sand or water before being disposed.

Keep it age appropriate.  Only adults should handle and light fireworks.  Children who are 10 to 14 years of age sustain 42% of the injuries associated with fireworks.

Don’t relight. If a firework is defective, don’t attempt to relight it and don’t pick it up. Soak it in water, and then throw it away.

One at a time.  Fireworks should only be lit one at a time.  Special effects should be left to the professionals.

If you want to play it safe this year, one of the best ways to enjoy fireworks is to visit a local park, beach, or amusement park where qualified individuals conduct exhibition firework displays.  Enjoy!

Have more fireworks safety tips to add?  Share them in the comments below.