Fireworks pose serious risks



    TORONTO, June 27 /CNW/ - To minimize the risk of fire and burn injuries
caused by fireworks this Canada Day weekend, Ontario Fire Marshal Pat Burke is
urging Ontario residents to attend fireworks displays hosted by their local
municipalities.
    "Many municipalities host fireworks displays with experts who are trained
to handle and discharge fireworks safely," says Burke. "For everyone else,
fireworks can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, family fireworks or
informal neighbourhood displays are not recommended."
    For those still choosing to have family fireworks or informal
neighbourhood displays, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has developed a
Fireworks Safety Tips sheet. Important safety precautions such as carefully
reading and following the directions on fireworks packaging, keeping a water
hose or pail of water available, never giving sparklers to young children and
appointing one adult to be in charge of discharging fireworks are some of the
OFM's tips to ensure fireworks are safe for everyone.
    Other important fireworks safety tips include: discharging fireworks in
an open area away from buildings, trees and dry grass; lighting only one
firework at a time; never trying to light a firework in your hand and keeping
onlookers a safe distance away.
    "Canada Day is a time for celebration, not tragedy," continued Burke.
"The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many spectacular
displays hosted by municipalities throughout Ontario."
    The Fireworks Safety Tips sheet may be viewed and/or saved from the OFM
Web site at: www.ofm.gov.on.ca.

    
                            Fireworks Safety Tips

                     From the Office of the Fire Marshal

    -   To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the fire service does
        not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays.

    -   The fire service recommends attending public fireworks displays
        hosted by your municipality or other responsible organization.

    -   If you still choose to have a family fireworks or an informal
        neighbourhood display, check with your local fire department about
        regulations regarding fireworks. Here are some important safety tips
        to be followed:

        -  Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are
           aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should
           handle and discharge fireworks.

        -  Carefully read and follow the label 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 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. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after
           burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.

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

    Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, Copyright 2007
    





For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview with the Fire
Marshal, contact: Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3138;
Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3178

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