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Fireworks Safety and By-law #77-10

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Fireworks Safety Tips

Fireworks are often used to mark special events and holidays. However, fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. Did you know that even sparklers burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns? To enjoy fireworks the safest way, Richmond Hill Fire & Emergency Services recommends attending a public display conducted by trained professionals.

If you chose to celebrate using fireworks, enjoy them safely by following a few simple safety tips. Please keep the following in mind when purchasing, handling and lighting fireworks:

Prior To Lighting:

  • Choose an area that is free of obstructions, at least 30 x 30 metres (100 x 100 ft.), with no trees or power lines
  • Read instructions on each product carefully
  • Make sure fireworks are set off by an adult
  • Watch wind direction and strength - never set off fireworks if winds are strong enough to project the residues on neighbours' property
  • Keep a large pail of water or a garden hose close at hand
  • Fill pails, boxes or a wheelbarrow with sand to use as a base for firing
  • Long fireworks should be half-buried in the ground or sand
  • Pack soil or sand around buried fireworks

While Lighting:

  • Never let children light fireworks
  • Never hold fireworks, only sparklers can be held
  • Light fireworks at arm's length and stand well clear
  • Make sure spectators stand at least 20 metres (66 ft.) away
  • Never try to relight a misfire
  • Use protective eyewear while lighting fireworks
  • Never put fireworks in pockets
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Keep animals indoors

After Lighting

  • Place used and misfired products in a pail of water

By-law #77-10 - Consumer Fireworks

Richmond Hill's By-law #77-10 is for the protection of all residents. It states in part, that "no person shall offer for sale, cause or permit to be sold, or sell Consumer Fireworks from an outdoor stand, tent, van, trailer or motor vehicle. Consumer Fireworks sold in stores must "be included in the most recent published list of authorized explosives." When you are purchasing fireworks, be sure to purchase them from a vendor who is in compliance with the By-Law. If they are, they will have a permit that has been issued by Richmond Hill Fire & Emergency Services displayed within their store. If you don’t see a permit, it probably means they are not meeting the requirements of the by-law, and it is recommended that you do not purchase from them.

Fireworks displays must be:
  • posted "No Smoking"
  • lots of not more than 25 kg
  • in a shelf, package, glass case or other suitable receptacle away from flammable goods and supervised
  • display shelf to be minimum 1.2 metres in height out of the rays of sun and away from excessive heat
  • window displays to be mock samples
  • fireworks are not to be sold to individuals under 18 years

Consumer Fireworks are to be sold on Victoria Day, Canada Day and each of the seven (7) days preceding these days.

No person shall set off or continue to set off Consumer Fireworks or shall display Consumer Fireworks in a manner that creates or may create a nuisance or that creates or may create an unsafe condition, danger from fire, or risk of accident, injury or damage at or in respect of any place, location or site, or to or in respect of any person, property or thing. 
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