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Celebrate Canada Day Safely with Fireworks

The safest way to enjoy fireworks on Canada Day, according to the Canada Safety Council (CSC), is to let the professionals handle the fireworks display. Going out to see a display, instead of holding one yourself is a much safer way to enjoy explosive fireworks. If you decide, however, to put on your own show with fireworks, here are some safety tips from the Canada Safety Council:

Setting Up:

Buy your fireworks from a reliable source selling products that meet safety standards, and stay away from illegal explosives or firecrackers. Never make your own fireworks.

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.

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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 the 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.

Fireworks Show:

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 eye glasses 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.

Proper Disposal:

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.

Follow your provincial and municipal laws and regulations regarding the use of fireworks. Most municipalities have their by-laws available online, but if you’re unable to find them contact your local City Hall or fire department. Enjoy fireworks carefully, safely and responsibly this year as Canada celebrates its 147th year. Know the safety rules and respect the firework’s firepower.

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