The Hamilton Fire Department advises that as Canada Day approaches, many people will be purchasing family fireworks to celebrate the holiday. The public is reminded that Fireworks can only be set off on your own property, and only on Canada Day or the two days immediately before or following Canada Day.

If you are setting off family fireworks, we urge you to follow these fireworks safety tips to ensure that the risk of fire and burn injuries is minimized and that everyone in attendance enjoys the show safely.

• Handling and discharge of fireworks must only be done by adults. Appoint one person to be in charge, who knows about the hazards of fireworks and essential safety precautions

• You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase and set off fireworks

• Carefully read and follow the label instructions on fireworks packaging including those for required clearances and set-backs. Choose a clear, open space, away from buildings and combustible materials. Also check that there are no overhead wires or tree branches

• Fireworks are not allowed to be discharged over roadways.

• Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by

• Set up a ‘safe zone’ and keep all spectators, children and pets out of this area. The label on the firework will tell you how far it will reach – the safe zone should be at least this distance.

• Keep fireworks in a closed box, away from the activation area, taking them out one at a time

• If not equipped with a base, firmly set the firework at least half its length in a bucket of sand or dirt, angled slightly away from spectators and check the wind direction and speed before lighting

•Never lean over a firework at any time, and light it only at the tip of the fuse

•Light only one firework at a time, and never try to light a firework, or hold a lit firework, in your hand

•Use a flashlight to see what you are doing

•If a firework is a dud or misfires, approach it with caution. Never try to re-light a firework. Leave it for at least 30 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water

•Supervise the use of all sparklers, especially with children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing and cause severe burns. Children should have only one lit sparkler at a time and should not wave or point the sparkler in the direction of other people. Sparklers may remain hot for several minutes after burnout and should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury

•If someone is burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary

For additional information on fireworks safety, visit The City of Hamilton Fire department web-site at

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