There are many public fireworks displays to enjoy this weekend, but if you’re setting off your own, remember, fireworks bylaws vary from town to town and township to township.
In Barrie, for instance, the bylaw allows for the lighting of fireworks, without a permit, on Victoria Day, Monday, May 23 only.
Further, you require a permit to set off fireworks in a neighbourhood park or face a fine under the city bylaw.
As for safety, the Canadian Hospital Injury Prevention and Reporting Program notes that 37% of injuries occur on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of these weekends. Sixty-four per cent of those people are male in gender. And there are significant injuries to the head, eyes, neck, and hands.
Secondly, fireworks often ignite something else – grass fires, buildings, any structure.
The Barrie Fire and Emergency Service shared the following fireworks safety advice with Barrie 360:
- The bylaw says you can’t set off fireworks within 300 metres of a school, a church, a hospital, a home for the aged, a retirement home, or a fuelling station. So those are some pretty significant locations that you have to be aware of. There are a lot of people who are sensitive to the sound of fireworks, it causes them a great deal of anxiety. And of course, we always see an uptick in lost pets who are made uncomfortable by the fireworks and take off. So situational awareness of your neighbourhood and your neighbours is really important in the consideration of using fireworks.
- While they’re considered low-hazard explosives, consumer-grade fireworks are a very powerful thing. Just because you can buy them doesn’t mean that everyone should use them. You have to be 18 years old to buy or utilize fireworks. You have to be in an area that’s big enough, the spectators have to be far enough away. So, you need to read the instructions. If it’s an aerial device, like a Roman candle that goes up 30 metres, you want your spectators to be 60 metres away. That’s a big distance. Not a lot of backyards in Barrie have that space. You can’t light them on the roadway, you can’t light them in parks, so you need to have the right area to be able to actually use these fireworks.
- Once you light a firework, you don’t have control of it anymore, it’s going where it wants to. And those little bits of colour are actually flaming metal, and they go a great distance, and they stay hot for quite a while.
- Even sparklers that we hand to our kids are flaming bits of metal. They burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. You bake a cake at 350. So, if you want your children to be very safe running around, hand them a glow stick and keep the sparklers to yourself because those are dangerous things.
- Fireworks need to be buried to half their length, pointed away from spectators, and not towards any structures. Ensure that you have a pail of water or hose that’s ready to go. If it doesn’t light, if it does not do what you think it should, leave it alone for half an hour, then soak it in water and let it sit in a pail of water for 24 hours.
- Barrie Fire Control gets a lot of calls about people lighting fireworks. Enforcement is actually a group effort depending on the situation. If it’s a noise issue, call Barrie Police. If it’s outside the day of the bylaw, on-duty enforcement services from the city can attend and speak to everyone. If it actually ignites something, that’s when you call the fire department.
For fireworks regulations in surrounding municipalities, click on the links below:
feature image via pexels.com