Virtual fireworks recommended, but Sarnia fire offers private display advice
With Canada Day fireworks going virtual this year due to COVID-19, Sarnia Fire Rescue is preparing for a possible increase in private displays.
Fire Prevention Officer Roel Bus said his main advice would be to just enjoy this year’s virtual display, but for those set on setting off fireworks, there are some ground-rules they’ll need to adhere to.
“First of all, you can only buy recreational-style fireworks, and you can only set it off on private property,” Bus said. “You can not set fireworks off on public property, that includes beaches and parks and things like that. Because you are taking on the liability of any kind of fireworks that you set off — like even though you keep it on your property, some things will obviously get shot up in the air, you need to know where it lands because you are responsible for anything that happens afterwards. This includes paper lanterns.”
Bus said Sarnia fire has dealt with firework-related incidents in the past, including in July 2017 when a house fire caused around $60,000 worth of damage.
He said logically, they can maybe expect a few more displays this year but added he’s not sure if that’s going to be the case.
Bus said the department didn’t really notice any increased backyard fireworks during the Victoria Day weekend this year, compared to previous years.
“There are always a few complaints — there’s always people that call in and say that there are some things that are happening but it wasn’t any more than other years, I don’t think.”
When it comes to the setting off of fireworks, the following precautions are recommended:
-Only adults who are aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should handle and discharge fireworks.
-Carefully read and follow the 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 family 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.
-Keep sparklers away from children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns. If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention, if necessary.
-Be respectful of your neighbours and mindful of pets