Bylaw says fireworks can't be used as a nuisance to others

With another holiday weekend approaching, it is not uncommon to hear fireworks going off sooner than the holiday Monday.

Many people in Thunder Bay are familiar with the city's bylaw for fireworks, vendor says

Bob Hoffman says he has a lot of repeat customers for fireworks, but that doesn't stop him from ensuring his customers know what the city's bylaws are for fireworks. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

With another holiday weekend approaching, it’s not uncommon to hear fireworks going off sooner than the holiday Monday.

City of Thunder Bay regulations allow them to be fired off six days prior to each of the four holidays.

Rocket rules under review

There is some confusion within city departments on the fireworks rules.

While a city bylaw allows them to be used six days ahead of the specified holidays, fire department regulations only allow three days.

And while a fire official said that discrepancy is under review — the official said most people are primarily concerned about lighting fireworks on the actual holidays.

For fireworks vendor Bob Hoffman, knowing the rules and regulations around setting off the celebratory rockets is key to having a good — and safe — experience.

"I offer that information to everyone that comes — the safe use of the fireworks and where to do them and when you're allowed to," said Hoffman, who sells fireworks out of a trailer on Memorial Avenue.

Thunder Bay's fireworks bylaw details the days on which people can shoot them off, and where — including one’s own property.

The bylaw also states fireworks cannot be used in a fashion that is a nuisance or danger to people or property.

In addition to the August civic holiday, the city bylaw allows people to set off fireworks on four other occasions — New Years, Victoria Day, Canada Day and Labour Day.

What 's not so widely known is that you can use them during the six days prior to each of those holidays — providing one does so on his or her own property.

Marty Patterson of Thunder Bay Fire Rescue said fireworks need to be treated seriously.

"We recommend that people attend public fireworks displays," he said. And if people do let off fireworks on their own property "we recommend that there is ... a responsible person in charge."

Complaints about fireworks are usually rare, according to police, fire, and bylaw officials.

And that’s a good thing for vendors like Hoffman, who is diligent about making sure his customers know the rules.

"Yeah, a lot of these customers are repeat customers and they know the bylaw very well," he said. "They've asked me in the past, but I offer that information  to everyone that comes."