For Immediate Release - Friday May 15, 2009
BURLINGTON, ON.- With the Victoria Day weekend upon us the Burlington Fire Department is warning residents about the dangers of improperly using family fireworks. Over the past several years numerous incidents in Ontario have been caused by the misuse of fireworks. Many resulted in serious fires and injuries.
The Burlington Fire Department has also experienced multiple preventable fires and responses related to the misuse of fireworks. In some cases fires have been started by the fireworks device or a response may have been requested by a neigbour who is concerned that persons on adjacent properties may be putting their homes at risk by the unsafe discharge of the fireworks item.
Another serious problem with the increased number of preventable fires and responses from fireworks is the continued commitment of emergency staff to incidents that did not have to happen. Other members of the public may experience a delay in receiving emergency assistance if the closest fire truck is committed to a grass or rubbish fire started by fireworks.
In Burlington, bylaw # 125-1992 regulates the sale and use of fireworks. Along with other requirements, it specifically prohibits the discharge of family fireworks in, on, or onto roadways or public areas such as parks. Most residential properties have limited sizes for backyards etc. and most fireworks effects have labelled requirements for setbacks to persons or buildings which are far greater that can be accommodated in a backyard.
Larger public displays that occur at special events such as New Years Eve are subject to strict inspection. Persons conducting these displays are professionals who have received training and must follow strict Federal regulations to ensure safety.
Residents and parents are reminded that Bylaw #125-1992 prohibits anyone under 18 years of age from purchasing or discharging fireworks and it also prohibits adults from giving fireworks to those under 18. Ensure your children and teens have not obtained fireworks for their own use.
If residents are concerned that their home or property is being put at risk of a fire by someone inappropriately using fireworks, they are encouraged to contact the fire dispatch center by calling 905-637-8253 and a truck will be sent to the location to investigate. A follow up investigation may lead to a preventable response fee of $367.50 being assessed against the person who was improperly using the fireworks. In cases where residents are reporting a fire they are to call 911.
Residents who still would like to hold their own display of family fireworks at their homes are encouraged to review the fireworks safety tips found in the Fire Department section at www.burlington.ca. There is also a link to the Burlington fireworks by-law #125-1992..
Fire Prevention Officer