St. Catharines Deputy Fire Chief Frank Biancucci is warning St. Catharines resident to be safe, use common sense and follow the City’s rules for using fireworks this Victoria Day long weekend.
“From a safety perspective, we recommend residents attend a community fireworks display that is under the care of a licensed professional than set them off themselves at home,” said Biancucci, adding the potential for burns and other injuries is an avoidable risk.
“If residents do plan to set consumer fireworks off themselves, I urge them to know the risks and to be safe.”
The city provides the following safety tips to help ensure fireworks are set off safely:
- Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should handle and discharge fireworks.
- Carefully read and follow the directions on fireworks packaging.
- Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.
- Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass.
- Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.
- Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground.
- Never try to light a firework in your hand or re-light dud fireworks. For dud fireworks, it is best to wait 20 minutes and soak them in a bucket of water. Dispose of them in a metal container.
- Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.
- Keep sparklers away from children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.
- If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention, if necessary.
In accordance with the city’s fireworks by-law, residents can only set off fireworks during two designated holidays: Victoria Day and Canada Day.
For the Victoria Day weekend, residents can set off consumer fireworks on Victoria Day (Monday, May 21), the day before (Sunday, May 20) and the day after (Tuesday, May 22).
Setting off fireworks outside of the designated approved dates could result in a $245 fine, the city warns.
Only licensed businesses who have a city Consumer Fireworks Sales Permit are allowed to sell fireworks in St. Catharines on Victoria Day and the seven days leading up to the holiday.
Businesses must post permits.
Residents are encouraged to only purchase fireworks from businesses that have a permit on display.
Report the unsafe use of fireworks or vendors selling without permits to St. Catharines Fire Services at 905-684-4311.
For emergencies, call 9-1-1.
For additional information about fireworks safety, visit stcatharines.ca/fireworks.