Warning Issued Regarding Illegal Novelty Fireworks

For Immediate Release - Thursday, March 12, 2009

BURLINGTON, ON.- The Burlington Fire Department is issuing a warning to all storeowners and parents to be on the lookout for illegal fireworks being sold in Burlington. The concern was raised due to visual similarities between the product and some types of candy.

The fireworks, sold under the product name of “Sprite Bombs” have been sold and distributed to a number of variety stores within the City of Burlington. Hamilton Emergency Services originally brought this issue to the attention of the public and area fire departments in July 2008. An incident at a Burlington school in the fall of 2008 revealed that these items had also been made available locally. Follow up investigation revealed there was at least one retailer who had been selling the product but they were unaware of the safety concerns.

On Monday March 9, 2009 another incident at a school caused the school officials to contact the Burlington Fire Department. The investigation revealed a retailer in another location had recently purchased the product from a travelling wholesaler within the past several days.

In both cases the store operators were very cooperative and removed the product from their shelves immediately.

This product is marketed as a novelty item. It contains a small amount of explosive material and is activated by either throwing it to the ground or stepping on them. Although the amount of explosive material is relatively small, there is still a risk of injury, especially to children, which is why these fireworks are illegal products and are prohibited from sale in Canada.

The “Sprite Bomb” devices are so sensitive that they can explode while trying to remove them from the blister pack. The product and packaging are also similar in appearance to candy, and fire officials fear that children may be injured by mistaking these products for candy.

Any stores in possession of this illegal product are to remove them immediately from their shelves and are asked to contact the Fire Prevention Division of the Burlington Fire Department at 905-637-9536. Any citizens who may have purchased these devices are to return them to the point of purchase and advise the retailer of the concern or they can call the Fire Prevention Division.

Anyone who knows of stores selling these, or similar products, is asked to contact the Fire Prevention Division of the Burlington Fire Department at 905-637-9536.


(Photos of product are available upon request)

Media Contact:
Ben Rotsma
Fire Prevention Officer
Tel. 905-971-4949
Fax. 905-333-1570
E-mail rotsmab@burlington.ca


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