/R E P E A T -- Fireworks pose serious risks/



    TORONTO, June 27 /CNW/ - Instead of setting off fireworks in their
backyards or neighbourhoods this Canada Day weekend, the Fire Marshal of
Ontario is urging Ontario residents to attend fireworks' displays hosted by
their local municipalities.
    Many municipalities have fireworks' displays run by experts who are
trained to handle and discharge fireworks safely. Fireworks can be extremely
dangerous if used improperly and for this reason, the fire service does not
recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays.
    "Celebrate Canada Day safely with family and friends," said Pat Burke,
Fire Marshal of Ontario. "Avoid fire and burn injuries by attending a
professionally held fireworks' display in your community."
    For those still choosing to have their own fireworks 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 can be found on the Fireworks
Safety Tips sheet 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.
    





For further information:

For further information: Gina Pontikas, Office of the Fire Marshal,
(416) 325-3138

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