My friend Paul at TheFireGuy.ca wanted to share some important safety tips for your family on Victoria Day:
When planning a backyard fireworks display, follow these safety guidelines:
- While children are an ideal audience, never allow them to light any fireworks. Only responsible adults should handle all materials while all spectators watch from a safe distance.
- Only one person should be in charge of igniting fireworks. With the exception of sparklers, fireworks are not meant to be handheld.
- Carefully read the instructions and precautions that accompany the fireworks. Before they are used, store them in there original package to avoid sparks.
- Fireworks should be buried to at least half their length in a bucket of sand or earth before they are ignited. If portable firing bases are not available, plant them directly in the ground, making sure that each is firmly supported before igniting.
- Always have a garden hose ready to douse any fireworks that continue smouldering after discharging.
- Light fireworks at arm’s length, standing back and keeping your face away. Don’t relight fireworks that fail to ignite, wait for several minutes and then soak them with water.
- Sparklers should also be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time, and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing, or any nearby combustible material. Only use sparklers outdoors.
- Always keep fireworks and sparklers out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer. Make sure that children are unable to access these materials to avoid a tragedy. For example, after the 1998 July 1st holiday, Toronto Firefighters responded to a blaze that was accidentally started by children playing with sparklers. Consequently, a four-year-old child died in the fire.
- Fireworks are only permitted on designated holidays. After the holiday, return all unused fireworks to where you bought them.