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Safety tips for fireworks

Canada Day is the perfect time to enjoy the wonder of fireworks with your family. But it’s important to remember they’re sold only to people over the age of 18 for a reason. Fireworks can be dangerous, especially for children. We share some tips on how you and your family can stay safe this July 1.


Seek out professionals

The City of Toronto’s Fire Services strongly recommends the public attend firework displays put on by trained professionals and reliable organizations rather than opting for backyard displays. The Canada Safety Council cautions that injuries often result from improper handling and ignorance of the safety requirements when using fireworks. If you are unable to attend a municipally organized event or really wish to hold a firework display of your own, be sure to abide by the following crucial safety tips.

Abide by recommended ages

In Canada, you must be at least 18 years of age to purchase fireworks. Though you obviously want kids to witness the wonder of fireworks, it is important they be kept safe at the same time. Advise children to never handle fireworks themselves and to stand a safe distance back. Store fireworks in a place that is locked or out of reach so kids cannot gain access to them without your knowledge.

Follow instructions

Before lighting any type of sparkler or firework, read the package instructions, cautions and warnings from beginning to end. Do not proceed with lighting until you are 100 per cent confident in what you have to do.

Keep water nearby

Rather than planning to deal with an issue when it arises, plan ahead. Keep a bucket nearby in which you can place any used-up fireworks and duds. It is also wise to keep a hose handy in case of emergency. Douse the hot ends of sparklers and any fireworks that continue to smoke in water, and tell kids to stay away.

Light safely

The majority of fireworks need to be placed in a wide bucket of sand or a patch of earth. They are never meant to be hand-held. Check the package instructions to be sure. When lighting, stand back with the firework at arms’ length, and keep your face away. Never place any part of your clothing or body over the firework, and wear eye protection and gloves if possible.

Use common sense

When in doubt, trust your gut. Some rules — such as not lighting fireworks indoors and ensuring they have a clear path into the sky — are quite understandable. It is also wise to never smoke around fireworks or light them while they are facing any objects or people. Fireworks have a lot of power and are not to be considered toys. So use common sense, and play it safe at your fireworks display this Canada Day.

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