The safest way to enjoy fireworks this Canada Day, according to the Canada Safety Council, is to let the professionals handle the lighting and fireworks display.
Attending a display as opposed to hosting one yourself is a much safer way to enjoy watching the sky light up with explosive fireworks.
However, if you decide to put on your own show with fireworks purchased from your local retail store, the safety council would like to remind you that safety should always be your first priority.
Fireworks safety is a multi-faceted issue, and CSC has some safety tips to share with you in regards to everything from purchasing fireworks to their proper disposal.
As much as laws and regulations in place can help guide the population to be safer, it’s a mix of awareness and conscientiousness that will potentially keep people safe.
• Follow your provincial and municipal laws and regulations regarding the use of fireworks. Most municipalities have their bylaws available online, but if you’re unable to find them contact your local city hall or fire department.
• Purchase your fireworks from a reliable source that sells products meeting safety standards.
• Stay away from illegal explosives or firecrackers. Never make your own fireworks under any circumstances.
• Read the instructions. The cautions and warnings on each firework item are there for a reason. Read them and follow them before doing anything else.
• Store unused fireworks in a closed box, stored away from any lit fireworks or any that are going to be lit, and do not smoke around the fireworks whether they are being used or not.
• Set up the fireworks outdoors in a clear, open space. Light fireworks on a hard, flat and level surface to ensure stability.
• Ensure that the wind is blowing away from spectators. This reduces the odds of a spark or firework landing among the viewers.
• Respect the safety distance written on the fireworks label and ensure that spectators are kept at least that far away from the display. Keep a careful watch on any children who are present.
• Have a bucket of sand, a supply of water and a working fire extinguisher on hand as a preventative measure.
• Only adults (18 years or over) should handle the fireworks. If you are impaired (alcohol or drugs), do not handle the fireworks.
• Light only one firework item at a time.
• Wear protective eyeglasses and gloves. Light at arm’s length and then stand back.
• Never lean over the fireworks. Keep hair and clothes away from fire sources to avoid accidental ignition.
• Never attempt to re-light a “dud” or defective firework.
• Never hold a lit firework item in your hand.
• Sparklers should be immersed in a bucket of sand to cool down after burning out, as they remain very hot for some time.
• Dispose of fireworks safely and properly by soaking all fireworks in water before throwing them in the garbage.
Enjoy fireworks carefully, safely and responsibly this year as Canada celebrates its 147th year — and it sure looks younger than its age, doesn’t it? Know the safety rules and respect the firework’s firepower.
Happy Canada Day.
» Canada Safety Council