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May 18, 2007
Fireworks Safety Tips
Prior to the Victoria Day weekend, Toronto Fire Services would like to remind the public how to avoid fires, injuries, and property damage through the misuse of fireworks. Last year alone Toronto Fire Services responded to 43 fires caused by the improper and unsafe use of fireworks. Twenty-nine of those fires occurred within a week of the Victoria Day weekend (accounting for 67 %). Twelve of the remaining fires occurred within a week of Canada Day.

Family fireworks are not toys; they are, in fact, powerful pyrotechnic articles capable of causing serious burns, significant fire loss, and even death. The Toronto Fire Services does not recommend backyard fireworks, or informal neighbourhood displays. Instead, we strongly suggest that the public attend fireworks displays organized by trained fireworks professionals and responsible organizations such as the municipality.

Staying safe while using fireworks involves following these vital safety tips:

1. Purchase fireworks from reliable sources.

2. Always read and follow the label directions.

3. Prior to using fireworks and sparklers, they should be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer. Ensure that children are unable to access these materials.

4. While children make a perfect audience, they should never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling all fireworks materials while spectators watch from a safe distance.

5. Only one adult ignites fireworks. Fireworks are not meant to be handheld.

6. Prior to igniting the fireworks, they should be buried at least halfway down into a bucket of sand or earth. If portable firing bases are not available, plant them directly in the ground making sure each piece is firmly supported before igniting.

7. Always have water on hand (garden hose and bucket) to soak fireworks that continue to smolder after firing.

8. Light the fireworks at arms length, standing back and keeping your face away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for several minutes and then douse it with water.

9. Sparklers should also 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 nearby combustible material. Do not use indoors.

10. Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

11. Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

12. Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

13. The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of their body over the firework.

14. Fireworks are only permitted to be used on designated holidays, such as Victoria Day.

For more information on fireworks, visit our website at:

Media contacts:
Toronto Fire Services Media Line
(416) 338 -0763



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