Fireworks And You: Don’t Blow Your Fingers Off, Don’t Tick Your Neighbours Off, Don’t Be A Doofus

Canada Day Represents One of a Few Times Fireworks Can Be Used Without a Permit in Barrie

Of all the Canada Day mainstays, few are as revered as much as a good fireworks display. While there are more than a few professional displays scheduled for the Canada Day weekend, this also represents one of the few times you can shoot off fireworks of your own in the City of Barrie without a permit.

Many retailers will sell you things that go boom, but of note, the Kinsmen of Barrie are selling fireworks from a big red container on north Bayfield St., with 100% of proceeds staying here in Barrie, supporting local community initiatives.

Once you’ve gotten your fireworks, there’s another step you may want to consider before sending them skywards: give your neighbours a head’s up. South Simcoe Police Sgt. Henry Geoffroy says via Twitter it is part of being a good neighbour.

Now that you are finally ready to shoot those fireworks off, you’ll want to keep in mind that thousands of Canadians, mostly children, are hurt by consumer fireworks every year. Fireworks also present a fire hazard, so you’ll want to be on guard while setting them off. Heed this advice from the City of Barrie:

  1. Purchase fireworks from reliable sources and always read and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Prior to using your fireworks and sparklers, they should be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer. Ensure that children are unable to access these materials.
  3. While children make a perfect audience, they should never be permitted to light fireworks.  Adults are responsible for handling all fireworks materials while spectators watch from a safe distance.
  4. Fireworks are never meant to be handheld, carried in a pocket, thrown, or pointed at people.
  5. Prior to ignition, fireworks should be buried at least halfway down into a bucket of sand or earth.  If portable firing bases are not available, plant them directly in the ground making sure each piece is firmly supported before igniting. Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  6. Always have water on hand (garden hose & bucket) to soak fireworks that continue to smoulder after firing.
  7. Light the fireworks at arm’s length, stand back and keep your face turned away.  If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it.  Let it sit in the base for several minutes and then douse it with water.
  8. Sparklers should also be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children playing. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time, and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing, or nearby combustible material.  Do not use indoors.
  9. Eye protection should always be worn when lighting fireworks; don’t lean over when lighting.

Barrie Fire and Emergency Service weighed in on firework safety via Twitter as well, saying don’t be a Doofus while setting off the pyrotechnics.