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May 17, 2005
Toronto Fire Services’ fireworks safety tips
Brian Stewart, District Chief, Toronto Fire Services Public Education, invites
the media to light various fireworks safely to avert a potential tragedy from
their misuse this coming Victoria Day weekend.

Date: Thursday, May 19

Time: 10 a.m.

Place: Harbourfront Fire Station 334, at 339 Queens Quay W.

Captain Mike Strapko is also available anytime this week if any media want to
capture fireworks in a night sky, before dawn or after dusk, to promote the
following important safety tips:

1. Children make a perfect audience, but they are not allowed to light
fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling all materials and spectators
must watch from a safe distance.
2. Only one designated person ignites fireworks. With the exception of
sparklers, fireworks are not to be hand-held.
3. Carefully read the instructions and precautions that accompany fireworks.
Before use, they are to be stored in the package they came in to avoid contact
with sparks.
4. Before fireworks are ignited, they must 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. Keep a garden hose nearby to douse any fireworks that continue to smolder
after firing.
6. Light the fireworks an arms-length, standing back and keeping your face
away. Wear safety goggles. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to
re-light it. Let it sit in the base for several minutes and then soak it with
7. Sparklers should also be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe
place away from children playing. The ends of sparklers stay hot for some time,
and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing, or nearby combustible material.
Only use sparklers outdoors.
8. Before using fireworks and sparklers, keep them out of reach of children,
preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer. In order to avert potential injury
or death, ensure that children are not able to access them.
9. Fireworks are only permitted on designated holidays, such as Victoria Day.

For more information, visit: /fire/prevention/fireworks_safety.htm

Media contact:

Captain Mike Strapko
Toronto Fire Services
416-807-7140 (cell)
416-334-5223 (pager)



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