Long Weekend Fun: Important Firework Safety Tips
Ah! Summer in Canada. That means warm weather, fun times outside with family and friends, and enjoying precious long weekend celebrations. What makes them great besides BBQs and time at the lake? Engaging in one of our favourite Canadian pastimes: watching fireworks.
While we recommend attending your community’s official fireworks displays in a controlled, professional environment, it might be your choice to put on your own show.
It is true that fireworks can be a fun family activity. But only when you use caution and follow the rules.
If you are planning on hosting a fireworks display, follow these safety tips adapted from Natural Resources Canada to avoid injuries and ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.
The first step, of course, is to purchase your fireworks from a reputable retailer who sells product that has been tested and meets safety standards. Do not attempt to make your own or purchase illegal product ‘off a truck’. Make sure to read the instructions carefully before beginning, and if necessary, read them several times. Because they can be very dangerous, using fireworks is not the time to rush or cut corners.
-Lots of water
-Buckets of water for disposing of used fireworks
-Pails or wheelbarrow of sand for setting off fireworks
-Safety glasses for the ‘show’ team
Must Follow Safety Tips:
- Fireworks should only be lit by adults 18 years of age or older. If children are participating, they should be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Make sure to choose a clear, open site away from all obstacles. The fireworks should be labelled with minimum distances from spectators to help guide you in setting up your site.
- Check the weather report. Steer clear of using fireworks in windy conditions as you won’t be able to control the direction of the explosion if there’s wind.
- Plan your display and the order of your show before you begin.
- Read all of the instructions on each piece you’ve purchased.
- Create a sturdy and fireproof firing base. A pail or wheelbarrow filled with earth or sand works well for this purpose.
- Unless indicated otherwise on the label, fireworks without a base should be buried halfway, on a 10-degree angle, into the container of earth or sand.
- Unless the fireworks are indicated to be hand-held (such as basic sparklers), never pick one up after it’s been lit, or try to light on while holding it in your hand.
- Have spectators stand a good distance away from the firing area, and on one side. Always point your fireworks away from the spectators.
- Light fireworks carefully with the attached fuse at the tip.
- Keep water nearby and dispose of burned out fireworks and the associated debris in a pail of water.
- If a firework doesn’t go off, wait at least 30 minutes before approaching it. Do not try to relight it, but rather treat it as you would an exploded one and put in a pail of water. Never try to fix a defective firework.
- Always keep your fireworks out of reach of children, preferably in a locked area. Store them in a cool, dry, ventilated place.
If your choice is to attend your community’s fireworks displays, try checking out your town or city’s website for locations, dates and times. We have included some that are local to us below. Please let us know if you’d like us to add your community to our list.