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May 19, 2004
Fireworks safety tips
Toronto Fire Services has a few recommendations for this long weekend's
backyard fireworks displays. By following these fire safety tips, people can
avert a possible tragedy resulting from the misuse of fireworks.

1. Children make the perfect audience, but they should never be allowed to
participate in the actual lighting of fireworks. Adults should be responsible
for handling all materials and all spectators should watch from a safe distance.

2. Only one person should be in charge of igniting fireworks. With the
exception of sparklers, fireworks are not meant to be hand-held.

3. Carefully read the instructions and precautions that accompany the
fireworks. Prior to their use, they should be stored in the package they came
in to avoid contact with sparks.

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

5. A garden hose should be kept nearby to douse any fireworks that continue to
smolder after firing.

6. 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.

7. 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. Sparklers are not recommended for indoor use.

8. Prior to using fireworks and sparklers, they should be kept out of reach of
children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer. In order to avert
potential injury (or even death), ensure that children are not able to access
these items.

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

Media contact:
David Craig, Chief of Public Education, Toronto Fire Services,



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