Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fireworks safety for Torontonians: plan, prepare, protect and prevent

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:

News Release:  May 14, 2015

Fireworks safety for Torontonians: plan, prepare, protect and prevent

The City of Toronto's Fire Services reminds Toronto residents that attention is needed for the safe use of fireworks and sparklers at Victoria Day celebrations this weekend. 

Fire Services advises that fireworks have the potential to cause serious injury. If you plan to host your own display, make sure responsible adults supervise. Take the time to plan, prepare, protect and prevent: plan and prepare for a safe display, protect all participants/viewers and prevent a fireworks-related accident.

In Toronto, fireworks displays/discharges must comply with the City of Toronto fireworks bylaw (Bylaw 1422-2007, Municipal Code 466).

Fire Services prefers that families visit a community fireworks presentation conducted by a professional fireworks display company. The following list of safety tips is for adults who are considering hosting their own backyard fireworks event. Note that Toronto's parks may not be used for personal fireworks displays.

• Fireworks may only be used without a permit on designated holidays (such as Victoria Day).
• Purchase fireworks from a retailer displaying a City-issued fireworks vendor permit.
• Always read and follow the manufacturer's label directions.

• Before fireworks and sparklers are used, they must be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer.
• Discharge the fireworks a safe distance from combustible materials such as buildings and trees.
• Before they are ignited, fireworks should be buried at least half their length into a bucket of sand if portable firing bases are not available. Plant the fireworks directly into the sand to make sure each piece is firmly supported and is aimed straight and away from the audience.

• Light the fireworks at arm's length, stand back and keep your face turned away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for 10 to 15 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
• The adult igniting the fireworks must wear eye protection and avoid having any part of his or her body over the firework.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• Never discharge fireworks in metal or glass containers.
• Never discharge fireworks indoors.
• If someone suffers a burn, run cool water over it for a few minutes and consider further treatment.

• In order to prevent an accident or injury, sparklers should be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children playing. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing or other nearby combustible material.
• Do not allow sparklers to be used indoors.
• Children make a great audience but they must never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling the fireworks while spectators watch the display from a safe distance.
• One designated adult should ignite the fireworks.
• Ignited fireworks must never be hand-held.
• Light only one firework item at a time.
• Always have water on hand – a garden hose and bucket of water – to soak fireworks after they have fired.

This news release is also available on the City's website:

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms. 

Media contact: Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763

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