The Hamilton Fire Department has issued a list of fireworks safety tips ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend. They include:
- Fireworks can only be set off on your own property, and only on Victoria Day and the two days immediately before and following Victoria Day.
- Handling and discharge of fireworks must only be done by adults. Appoint one person who knows about the hazards of fireworks and essential safety precautions to be in charge.
- You must be at least 18 years old to buy and set off fireworks.
- Carefully read and follow the label instructions on fireworks packaging, including those for required clearances and set backs.
- Choose a clear, open space, away from buildings and combustible materials. Also check that there are no overhead wires or tree branches.
- Fireworks are not allowed to be discharged over roadways.
- Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by.
- Set up a safe zone and keep all spectators, children and pets out of this area. The label on the firework will tell you how far it will reach. The safe zone should be at least this distance.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box, away from the activation area, taking them out one at a time.
- If not equipped with a base, firmly set the firework at least half its length in a bucket of sand or dirt, angled slightly away from spectators and check the wind direction and speed before lighting.
- Never lean over a firework at any time, and light it only at the tip of the fuse.
- Light only one firework at a time, and never try to light a firework, or hold a lit firework, in your hand.
- Use a flashlight to see what you are doing.
- If a firework is a dud or misfires, approach it with caution. Never try to re-light a firework. Leave it for at least 30 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water.
- Supervise the use of all sparklers, especially with children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing and cause severe burns.
- Children should have only one lit sparkler at a time and should not wave or point the sparkler in the direction of other people.
- Sparklers may remain hot for several minutes after burnout and should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.
- If someone is burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary.
For more information on fireworks safety, visit www.hamilton.ca/fire.
(Source: Hamilton Fire Department)