It’s Canada Day and many people will be setting off some dazzling displays of fireworks this weekend. And while it’s a lot of fun to see the flashing lights and hear the big bangs, it is important to remember that these come with big explosions and lots of fire and that could become a major hazard if the proper care isn’t taken. Fire departments are concerned about safety though want people to have fun.
— Waterloo Fire Rescue (@Waterloo_Fire) June 30, 2017
First up is purchasing fireworks. When you are looking to buy fireworks there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Buy fireworks from reliable sources that sell products that meet safety standards.
- Read and follow the directions on the label.
- Don’t improvise your own fireworks.
- Stay away from illegal explosives or firecrackers
- Refer to your local by-laws to determine if there is a fire ban.
- Refer to local by-law for regulations on sale and use of fireworks.
Next up is storing the fireworks which is something most don’t really consider:
- Keep fireworks and sparklers out of reach of children.
- Keep fireworks in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.
- Keep fireworks away from any open flames.
- Don’t smoke around fireworks.
And when it comes to setting up your display here are some tips:
- Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should handle and discharge fireworks.
- Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.
- Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.
- Set up outdoors in a clear, open space.
- Only discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass and only when wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.
- Always supervise children if they are allowed to handle sparklers.
- Keep unused fireworks in a closed container away from the firework being lit.
- Check wind and ensure spectators are not in danger of having sparks blown onto them.
- Never lean over the firework or attempt to relight a “dud”.
- Never hold a lit firework in your hand.
Finally comes the disposal, cleaning up after is just as important as storing and setting them off.
- Sparklers should be immersed in a bucket of sand to cool down after burning out, as they remain very hot for some time.
- Fireworks, including debris, should be doused in water and then placed into a pail of water until completely soaked and safe. Then disposed of properly – see your local by-law.
Whether you are setting up your own fireworks or going out to see one of the many displays being offered throughout the region this Canada Day long weekend please remember to be safe so you can enjoy the show!