FIREWORKS SAFETY GUIDELINES
Before firing your display, a few elementary precautions should be taken.
- ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES
- Children are fascinated by fireworks, but should not participate in the firing of the pieces. Older children may be taught to assist under adult supervision. Never leave the fireworks unattended.
- Only One person should be in charge of the display.
- With the single exception of sparklers, no firework is designed to be hand held. Even sparklers must be used with close adult supervision! None are designed for indoor use!
- Inspect your fireworks during daylight hours. Read all instructions carefully.
- Inspect your firing area. Look for flammables like dry grasses or bushes and overhead objects like trees and hydro wires. Ensure your audience has a safe viewing area, upwind and the recommended distance from the fireworks.
- Use buckets or a wheelbarrow of sand/dirt to bury the long tube items that must be buried. Holes can also be dug in the ground/garden for these items. Always slightly angle them away from your audience. Use a flat, level surface for items with bases that need no additional support. Lining the base items on a piece of wood and screwing them down through the base gives additional safety as well as allowing you to plan the sequence ahead. Ensure they are not so close together that they can ignite each other.
- Keep a hose, fire extinguisher or buckets of water handy and dispose of spent fireworks only after they have safely cooled. Wetting spent fireworks down prior to disposal is always a good idea.
- Never re-approach a firework that does not “go off.” Do not try to re-light it. Go on to other pieces, wait at least 20 minutes and then dispose of it in a water filled container.
- Do not wear synthetic fabrics while lighting fireworks. Jeans, a denim jacket and a cotton shirt make a good firing outfit.
- Use punk sticks or igniters to light the fireworks. Never lean over a piece of firework as you are lighting it. Hold the igniter at arm’s length and keep your face clear of the piece. Once lit, stand clear of the firework immediately.
- ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES (It’s worth repeating!)
What are the different classifications of fireworks?
“Consumer Fireworks” is the current proper term for fireworks available for retail purchase to the general public, 18 years of age and over. Other terms which are sometimes misleading or obsolete include:
Class C Fireworks (a term originating in the USA)
1.4G Fireworks (Class 1, division 4 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations -TDG)
7.2.1 Fireworks ( Class 7, subdivision 1 of division 2 of the Canada Explosive Regulations)
Low Hazard Fireworks
“Display Fireworks” are the fireworks used in larger community displays run by licensed professionals (fireworks supervisors). These devices are not intended for use by consumers. Also may be known as:
Class B Fireworks (a term originating in the USA)
1.3G or 1.1G (Class 1, division 3 or division 1, compatibility group G of the TDG Regulations)
7.2.2 Fireworks ( Class 7, subdivision 2 of division 2 of the Canada Explosive Regulations)
High Level Fireworks
High Hazard Fireworks
“Special Effect Pyrotechnics” are the fireworks designed for use indoors, in close proximity to persons. They are only to be used by licensed professionals (Pyrotechnicians). These products may also be known as:
Close Proximity Fireworks
7.2.5 Fireworks ( Class 7, subdivision 5 of division 2 of the Canada Explosive Regulations)
note* This category may also fall under the 1.3G or 1.1G TDG Act classification
How can I recognize an illegal firework?
Look for a manufacturer’s name on each item or on the box in which they were packaged. Each device should also list instructions for proper use and have cautionary labeling. The manufacturer’s name and cautionary labeling are required by law. Fireworks without this information are probably illegal and, therefore, to be avoided.
Although each and every product authorized for sale as a consumer fireworks is published by name in the Explosive Regulatory Division – List of Authorized explosives. Some common names that have been illegal for literally decades are still being confused with current items authorized for sale:
Cherry Bomb – resembling a red cherry with a fuse out the top. – Illegal
– resembling a 5 inch long x 1 inch diameter tube with a ground spike at one end. – authorized
Cherry Bomb Box – A preselected pack of authorized products. – authorized
M-80 – a short red cylinder with a fuse out the middle side. – Illegal (and very dangerous)
M-80 Kit – A preselected pack of authorized products. – authorized
Bottle Rockets – resembling a device with an attached stick intended to launch into the sky – illegal
– a small tube device with short ground spike at one end – authorized
Rocket Fountain – resembling a illegal bottle rocket, but only emits a shower of sparks – authorized
Bomb Bags – Does not contain pyrotechnic material, and therefore does not fall into the category of fireworks.
Professional Fireworks Safety.
Professional caliber fireworks are powerful explosives, they have the power to instantly, and violently dis-member limbs and / or cause life threatening injuries.
Please respect the safety of the fireworks supervisors setting up professional displays. Do not approach without permission and escort.
If you suspect you have found a dud, or unexploded device from a professional display, DO NOT attempt to transport or dispose of it. Contact the Local Police or Fire Department immediately.