Fireworks displays in your own backyard can be a lot of fun, but can pose serious risks if proper precautions aren't taken.
BWG Fire and Emergency Services suggests attending public fireworks displays hosted by a responsible organization if possible. If you still choose to have family fireworks or an informal neighbourhood display, please follow these guidelines.
Be aware or your responsibility
By choosing to set off fireworks on your own property, you are taking responsibility for any harm that should occur to people or property as a result. You may wish to advise your neighbours before doing this and ensure that there will be no undue hardship as a result. Every year, numerous complaints are received because of fireworks being set off late at night or too close to other properties, and this can damage relationships between neighbours.
If your yard is small and you cannot guarantee debris will fall only on your own property, use of fireworks is not recommended.
Set them off safely
- Only ADULTS should handle fireworks - appoint ONE person to be in charge who knows the hazards and safety precautions.
- Carefully read and follow the directions on the packaging.
- Always keep a hose or pail of water close by.
- Set off fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Never try to light a firework (or hold a lit firework) in your hand.
- Never re-light “dud” fireworks. Wait 30 minutes, then soak them in a bucket of water.
- Never give sparklers to small children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns.
- Sparkler wires remain hot for several minutes after burnout, so soak them in water immediately to avoid injury.
- If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary.
- Watch the fireworks as they fall to the ground, and mark their locations so that you don't miss anything. If they fall into a neighbour's yard or on their roof, you are responsible for letting them know and retrieving them if necessary.
Dispose of them wisely
- Immediately after your fireworsk show, comb the area for any pieces that may have scattered in the explosion.
- Use work gloves to pick up any materials that may be hot.
- Soak all materials in a pail of water overnight (NOT in a lake or other natural body of water).
- Pull out wicks and fuses from unspent fireworks.
- Wrap the wet materials in plastic to keep them wet as long as possible and place them in your regular trash.
For further information on fire safety and prevention, call the Fire Prevention Division of the Bradford West Gwillimbury Fire Department at (905) 775-7311 Ext. 4103.