Leave fireworks to the professionals

TORONTO, June 30 /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.

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.


"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."


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

       -  Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging

       -  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

       -  Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety

       -  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.

       -  The Ontario fire service is strongly discouraging the public from
          purchasing Flying Lanterns, which resemble small, paper, hot air
          balloons, fuelled by an ignited wax candle. This product has the
          potential to land on trees, building rooftops or other property
          while still ignited and can result in a severe fire. The Office of
          the Fire Marshal believes this product poses a public fire safety
          hazard and strongly urges the public to refrain from purchasing and
          using this product.

SOURCE Office of the Fire Marshal - Media Relations

For further information: For further information: Gina Pontikas, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3155

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