This Canada Day treat fireworks 'with respect'

Hamilton Fire Department issues safety guidelines leading up to Canada Day celebrations this weekend.

Hamilton Fire Department issues safety guidelines for Canada Day celebrations.

Hamilton Police have issued a series of tips to stay safe on Canada Day. (Submitted by Monique Nenson)

Respect the flame, says the Hamilton Fire Department.

The department issued some safety guidelines this week to prepare for Canada Day celebrations on Friday.

Hamilton's public  fireworks will be put on this weekend by the City of Hamilton and RBC at Pier 4 Park, west of Bay St. North at 10 p.m., following free entertainment all afternoon.

Just one mistake can be tragic.'- Claudio Mostacci, Hamilton Fire Department.

Free shuttle busses will be running from downtown to Bayfront all day courtesy of HSR, and extra bike racks will be provided at the event by SoBi Hamilton.

"We strongly suggest that people go to one of the public displays," said Claudio Mostacci of the Hamilton Fire Department. "That's where everyone can enjoy fireworks and be safe."

For anyone setting off their own fireworks, the guidelines include having only adults over the age of 18 handling and lighting fireworks, and setting up a safe zone to protect spectators and passersby.

It's an issue Mostacci emphasizes year after year. While viewing fireworks is a family activity, setting them off, he insists, is an adult-only job.

"People decide that they want their children to also set off fireworks," he said. "With fireworks you have to understand that you have to know all the safety points."

Simple and safe

According to the City of Hamilton, the basic rules of firework safety are simple:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase and set off fireworks
  • 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.
  • Set up a 'safe zone' and keep all spectators, children and pets out of this area. 
  • Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by
  • 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
  • If someone is burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary

As a fan of fireworks safety is something Mostacci takes into account every year and encourages others to do the same.

"I do enjoy fireworks," he cautions, "but for the smaller ones I can just see the potential of injuries happening and what can happen in a split second."

No matter what your plans firework plans for the long weekend, Mostacci says just remember to "treat them with respect," he said. "Just one mistake can be tragic."