Fireworks pose serious risks



    TORONTO, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - To minimize the risk of fire and burn injuries
this long holiday weekend, Ontario Fire Marshal Pat Burke is urging Ontario
residents to attend fireworks displays hosted by their local municipalities.
    "Many municipalities now host fireworks displays with certified experts
who are trained to handle and discharge fireworks safely," says Burke. "For
others, fireworks are extremely dangerous and for this reason, the fire
service does not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood
displays."
    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 like carefully
reading and following the directions on fireworks packaging, keeping a water
hose or pail of water available and never giving sparklers to young children
are some of the tips to ensure fireworks are safe for everyone.
    Other important fireworks safety tips include appointing a responsible
person to be in charge of the display, discharging fireworks away from
anything that can burn, keeping onlookers a safe distance away and never
trying to light or hold a lit firework in one's hand. If someone does get
injured, they are advised to run cool water over the burn wounds for three to
five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary.
    "Everyone must take the responsibility to ensure their family's safety if
they plan to discharge fireworks," continued Burke. "To minimize the risk of
fire and burn injuries in their backyards, Ontario residents should follow the
OFM Fireworks Safety Tips sheet and always keep fireworks away from young
children."
    To get more information about fireworks safety, visit www.ofm.gov.on.ca
and download the Fireworks Safety Tips fact sheet.


    
                            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 arrange interviews contact: Carol
Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3138; Chris Slosser, Office of
the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3120

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