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May 21, 2010
Fireworks safety: plan, prepare, protect, prevent
City of Toronto Fire Services is reminding Toronto residents about the safe use of fireworks and sparklers at Victoria Day celebrations this weekend.

“Fireworks can be dangerous," said Toronto Fire Chief William Stewart. "They have the potential to cause serious injury. Responsible adults must supervise fireworks displays. If you plan to host your own display, please take the time to plan, prepare, protect and prevent.”

Fireworks displays or discharges are required to be in accordance with the City of Toronto's Bylaw 1422-2007 (Municipal Code 466) regulating fireworks.

Toronto Fire Services would prefer to have families visit a public fireworks display in the community that is conducted by a professional fireworks display company. The following list of safety tips is provided for adults who are considering hosting their own backyard display:

• A fireworks permit is not required to discharge family fireworks on Victoria Day (or, in the event of inclement weather that day, for the day before or after Victoria Day).
• Purchase fireworks from a retailer displaying a valid, City-issued fireworks vendor’s permit.
• Always read and follow the label directions.

• Prior to using your fireworks and sparklers, they should be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer. Make sure children cannot access these items.
• Ensure that fireworks can be discharged a safe distance away from combustible materials, including buildings and trees.
• Prior to ignition, fireworks 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.

• 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 sparklers indoors.
• 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.
• Only one adult ignites fireworks. Fireworks are never meant to be handheld.
• Light only one firework item at a time.
• Always have water on hand (garden hose and bucket) to soak fireworks after firing.

• Light the fireworks at arms 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, wait 10 to 15 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
• The adult igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of his or her body directly above 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 does get burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes as a start to treatment.

Toronto's fireworks bylaw:

More information about fireworks is available under the heading What’s New on the Toronto Fire Services website at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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



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