Halloween fireworks: everything you need to know to stay safe

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On top of eating sweet candy and wearing ghoulish costumes, people love to light up the night sky with dazzling fireworks displays on Halloween. While they’re beautiful, fireworks present safety risks and you need to be informed of your municipality’s bylaws and permit requirements.

Vancouver only permits the sale of consumer fireworks the week prior to Halloween and only allows discharge of fireworks one day per year on – you guessed it – Halloween.

“Fireworks are rigorously tested in Canada and authorized for import by the Canadian government. We have the most stringent regulations on fireworks in all of the world,” Executive Director of the Canadian National Fireworks Association Mandy Cameron tells Vancity Buzz.

Cameron says injuries related to fireworks happen most often because of misuse – she believes education is key in safe firework handling.

“You need to determine that you’re using the correct fireworks for the location,” Cameron says.

“Larger aerial fireworks, typically called cakes, would be more suitable for larger discharging spaces, but any customers can talk to their retailers to determine if they’re buying the correct product for their situation.”

Another thing to keep in mind, says Cameron, is label checking and making sure you’re purchasing fireworks from authorized dealers. The label should have a safety description and both English and French to guarantee its authenticity and legality.

The Canadian Nation Fireworks Association created an infographic for safe handling of fireworks:

Image: Canadian National Fireworks Association

Image: Canadian National Fireworks Association

The City of Vancouver also recommends the following for safe use of fireworks:

  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
  • Keep them away from children
  • Do not drop fireworks or carry them in your pockets
  • Do not use them indoors
  • Do not use them in public spaces
  • Wear non-flammable clothing or costumes
  • Do not hold or fire them at other people
  • Wait 30 minutes after the fireworks display has finished to clean up

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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