Canadian Fireworks Safety[twitter]Canada allows fireworks in only two categories: family or consumer fireworks and display fireworks. Fireworks are strictly regulated through the Explosives Act, which is administered by the Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) of Natural Resources Canada. ERD provides professional safety and legal awareness training and certification for Display Fireworks Supervisors and Special Effects Pyrotechnicians. ERD only permits safe performing fireworks to be manufactured, imported and sold in Canada.

Check with your local Fire or Police Department for by-laws and regulations on discharging fireworks in Canada in your municipality. Be aware many municipalities have changed their by-laws concerning rules and regulations regarding fireworks.

Family or Consumer Fireworks Safety Tips:

Adults must take responsibility to supervise all fireworks activities. Fireworks are not toys. They burn at approximately the same temperature as a household match and can cause burn injuries and ignite clothing if improperly lit.

Read and follow all warnings and instructions. Do not purchase or use unlabeled fireworks. Homemade fireworks are deadly. One third of the injuries associated with fireworks have typically been caused by illegal explosives or homemade fireworks.

It is illegal for minors to purchase and possess fireworks. It is illegal to sell fireworks to minors.

Use fireworks outdoors only. Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned and always have water handy in a garden hose or bucket.

Sparklers are often considered harmless fun. However, they can burn as hot as 650° Celsius (1200 °Fahrenheit) and can ignite clothing. As with other fireworks, always use them outdoors under adult supervision. Place used sparklers immediately into a metal container.

The majority of the injuries from family or consumer fireworks involve misuse rather than malfunction.

Organizers need a permit to set off display fireworks. The actual firing of the display is conducted by a trained pyrotechnic operator and crew. Crowd control is mandatory.

Display Fireworks Safety Tips:

* Spectators should obey all safety personnel and respect the security barriers set up to allow the trained operator to safely do his job.
* If a firework component falls to the ground without exploding, immediately tell the safety personnel. Do not touch the fireworks.
* Leave the lighting of all fireworks to the trained operator when you attend a public display. Consumer fireworks are not appropriate to use when a large crowd is present.
* Taking pets to a fireworks display is not a good idea. The loud noises can hurt their ears and cause them to panic. Leave pets at home if you are going to a fireworks show.
* Regulation alone cannot protect the public. It must be combined with personal responsibility and awareness.

Most importantly, have a safe and scary Halloween!

Photo on Flickr by mckaysavage.

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