The majority of injuries from fireworks (72%) are from small firecrackers, rockets and sparklers. Only 2% of fireworks-related injuries are as a result of public fireworks displays. The fire service does not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals.
Leave fireworks to the pros!
If you still choose to have a family or neighbourhood fireworks display, follow these precautions:
- Purchase your fireworks from an authorized/reputable manufacturer or retailer.
- Store your fireworks safely in a closed box in a cool, dry, secure location away from children, pets and any heat sources. Consider locking them up for greatest security.
- Handling and discharging of fireworks must only be done by responsible adults over the age of 18 years. Appoint one person to be in charge of the fireworks display.
- Drinking alcohol presents an added danger when there are fireworks. So, don’t drink while conducting your fireworks display.
- Never allow children to discharge or handle fireworks.
- Carefully read and follow the label directions and warnings on fireworks packaging. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions on safe distances, etc.
- Do not light fireworks under windy conditions; postpone your display if necessary.
- Never set off fireworks during an open air burning ban.
- Observe local laws.
- Only use fireworks outdoors.
- Choose a wide, clear site 30 metres by 30 metres (100’ X 100’) well away from any structures, trees, dry grass, overhanging hydro lines, overhanging tree branches, etc. Ensure that you have the permission of the property owner.
- Keep pets safely indoors during your display.
- Always have a water supply on hand; a garden hose connected to a water supply and buckets of water.
- Keep spectators 20 metres (60 feet) away from the fireworks firing line.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box; remove fireworks one at a time, closing the box lid between firings. Keep the box of fireworks a safe distance from the firing line.
- Never carry or store fireworks in your pocket.
- Wear eye protection and gloves while lighting fireworks.
- Do not wear loosely hanging or dangling clothing, such as scarves or long open sleeves, when igniting fireworks.
- Light only one firework at a time. Always light the fuse at the tip.
- Light fireworks at arm’s length using a barbecue lighter and immediately stand back.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
- Do not lean over fireworks or attempt to pick up a misfired or “dud” firework for at least 30 minutes. Never try to re-ignite or fix a defective or “dud” firework.
- Do not take unnecessary risks while lighting fireworks.
- Never take fireworks apart or modify them in any way.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people. To do so is a criminal offence.
- Never light a firework in your hand or hold a lit firework.
- Use a good firing base for your fireworks; a wheelbarrow or metal bucket filled with sand.
- For a good launching site bury fireworks that do not have a standing base halfway in the ground, sand-filled bucket or wheelbarrow, unless otherwise indicated on the label instructions.
- Tilt the firework at a 10º angle away from spectators prior to lighting.
- Soak used fireworks and “dud” fireworks in a bucket of water to fully extinguish them before disposing of them in a metal garbage can.
- Never give fireworks to small children and monitor children at all times during a fireworks display.
- Sparklers burn at 1800ºF and can easily ignite a child’s clothing or cause blindness if the sparkler should come into contact with a child’s eyes.
- Sparklers should not be used by children under 8 years of age and an adult should always closely monitor their use.
- The metal wire of a burning sparkler heats up when ignited and remains hot for some minutes after burnout and can burn a young child’s hand or fingers.
- Never allow a child to run with a lit sparkler.
- Used sparklers should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.
A By-law Respecting the Sale and the Setting Off of Fireworks Within the City of Windsor
By-law Number 136-2004
Discharge of Firecrackers and Prohibited Fireworks
- No person shall discharge any firecrackers, except as per subsection 6(4) herein.
- No person shall discharge any prohibited fireworks.
No person shall discharge consumer fireworks except on the following days:
- Victoria Day, or the day immediately preceding or following Victoria Day;
- The day preceding Canada Day and the following days up to and including the Fourth of July; and
- New Year’s Eve.