Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

By Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

June 30, 2016


8 Steps for a Successful Night of Fireworks at Home

Article revised on 19 June 2020

Summer is a time for celebrations and many people decide to mark these occasions by setting off their own fireworks at home. However, many injures and accidents occur every year due to the mishandling of fireworks. Do you plan on setting off fireworks? The following safety tips will help reduce the risk of accidents and help protect everyone who will be there for the show.

1. Purchase

  • Before purchasing fireworks, find out about your municipality’s regulations regarding the domestic use of fireworks. Most municipalities prohibit the use of fireworks on streets, in parks and playgrounds.
  • You must be age 18 or over to purchase fireworks from an authorized merchant who complies with the Explosives Act and Regulations.
  • Read the instructions carefully. All Canadian-approved fireworks have a bilingual label describing the item’s effect and indicating the proper method for safe ignition and usage.

2. Transportation and storage

  • To transport fireworks, store them in boxes or bags and place them in the trunk of your vehicle. Never carry them on you.
  • Store unused fireworks far away from where the rest are being set off, preferably in a closed and safe location.

3. Location 

  • Cities will generally require fireworks to be used in open and clear spaces, with an approximate surface area of 900 square meters (30 m X 30 m). They must be clear of buildings, vehicles and vegetation.

4. Weather conditions

  • Pay close attention to wind direction.
  • Guide the fireworks in the prevailing wind direction and don’t set them off in the midst of violent winds.

5. Handling fireworks

  • Use a hard flat surface by making sure the fireworks shoot upwards without tipping over.
  • Bury fireworks halfway in the ground or in a container filled with sand or soil.
  • Never hold pyrotechnical items in your hand when you’re lighting it.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Always have water, sand and a working fire extinguisher on hand in case of a fire in or close to the firing area.
  • Never try to relight a firework that didn’t go off. Wait at least 30 minutes and soak in water.

6. Clothing

  • Wear long-sleeved shorts and pants, preferably made of cotton (fire resistant).
  • Avoid synthetic material like polyester or nylon, which ignite easily.
  • Wear safety goggles and gloves

7. Spectators

  • Keep children away from the firing area and keep all spectators at least 20 meters away.
  • Always point fireworks away from spectators, who should have their backs to the wind.

8. After the show

  • Wait 30 minutes after the activity is over and canvass the area to pick up any debris and fireworks that didn’t go off.
  • If it wasn’t already done so during the activity, soak fireworks that did not go off in water.
  • Do a follow-up inspection the following day to make sure the area is safe.

By following these safety tips, you’ll be sure to put on a great show while following government and municipal guidelines.

For more information on firework safety, see the following links:

Canada Safety Council 
Natural Resources Canada

Enjoy the show!

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