Local Fire Prevention Officer urges fireworks safety heading into long weekend

(Provided by James Marshall, Fire Prevention Officer for West Perth/Perth East Fire Departments)

With the long weekend coming up, a local Fire Prevention Officer wants to remind everyone to be safe when they use fireworks.

Perth East and West Perth Fire Department’s James Marshall says they want people to be safe and responsible and understand the impact fireworks can have on the neighbourhood. He notes they’re mostly concerned with potential injury or fires caused by unsafe use, but there are other¬†factors to consider.

“There are other concerns in the neighbourhood with regards to animals, be that pets or farm animals if they’re used out in a rural area, and then if they’re used throughout the entire night, the impact that may have on kids sleeping and your neighbours who maybe aren’t enjoying them as much as you are.”

Marshall says plenty can go wrong quickly including injuries or a bad fire if manufacturer instructions aren’t followed.

“We want you to be aware of where you’re firing them off, so how close are you to anything that’s going to catch fire, and then where are you putting them when you’re finished lighting them? So make sure you follow what the manufacturer wants you to do, they may want them put in a sand pail, or even soaked down.”

On top of all that, Marshall adds it’s important to ensure those handling the fireworks are able to do so safely.

“Also ensure that the individual that is putting on the fireworks display is competent and sober. It’s not uncommon for us to respond to situations where alcohol has impacted the decision making and the choices.”

Most local municipalities have bylaws regarding fireworks use, usually only allowing for them to be used during civic holidays and long weekends. For more information, contact your local township municipal office for any questions regarding local bylawqs and fireworks use.

(Provided by James Marshall, Fire Prevention Officer for West Perth/Perth East Fire Departments)