With the Civic Holiday weekend upon us, the Norfolk County Fire Department is reminding residents that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is at public displays conducted by professionals.

However, for those who choose to have family fireworks or an informal neighbourhood display, there are some important safety tips that must be followed:

  • Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should handle and discharge fireworks.
  • Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.
  • Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.
  • Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees, and dry grass.
  • Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.
  • Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or re-light dud fireworks. For dud fireworks, it is best to wait 30 minutes and soak them in a bucket of water. Dispose of them in a metal container.
  • Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.
  • Even when a firework is discharged properly molten material can come in contact with the ground. Be sure that the fallout zone for fireworks is on permitted property that is free of combustibles.
  • Keep sparklers away from children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.
  • If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention, if necessary.

In addition to firework safety, residents are reminded of the Norfolk County Fireworks Regulating By-Law. Highlights include:

  • Fireworks are permitted 2 days prior, and up to 1 day after, each of the following holidays: New Year’s Eve, Victoria Day Monday, Canada Day, US Independence Day, Civic Holiday Monday, Labour Day Monday.
  • Fireworks may only be discharged up to 11:00 p.m.
  • Fireworks are not permitted to be discharged on municipal property or roadways.
  • The user of the fireworks must own the property they are discharging on or have permission from the property owner.

While fireworks are popular, impressive, and fun, it is imperative all recommended safety measures and regulations are adhered to.