Fireworks Safety Tips

Fire - Fireworks 2

The Burlington Fire Department and The Ontario Office of The Fire Marshal have expressed concerns with the dramatic increase in the number of fireworks related incidents occurring. 

In an effort to minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the fire service does not recommend the use of family fireworks for most urban residential areas or their use for informal neighbourhood displays.  Many individual fireworks have instructions printed on the device that requires a safety distance of at least 30M in all directions.  That is equal to almost half a football field, and most residential lots will not accommodate that amount of clear space.

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.  When larger displays are conducted in parks for events such as New Years Eve and Canada Day, the set up, discharge, and the persons conducting the display are subject to strict inspection and training and must follow Federal regulations to ensure safety.

If you choose to use family fireworks for your own display, the Burlington Fire Department strongly recommends you review and follow these safety tips:

  • The handling and discharging of all fireworks must only be done by an adult.
  • Appoint one adult to be responsible for contolling and igniting the fireworks.  The adult appointed should be aware of the hazards of fireworks and the safety precautions.
  • Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by. Appoint one adult to be prepared to use either.  Never leave ignited fireworks unattended.
  • Make sure that you have all emergency numbers accessible in case of an unforseen accident.
  • Ensure that children and teens have not obtained fireworks for their own use.  Bylaw #125-1992 prohibits anyone under 18 years of age from purchasing or discharging fireworks.  This Bylaw also prohibits adults from giving fireworks to any individual under the age of 18 years old.
  • Carefully read and follow the directions on fireworks packaging and follow all instructions, including the required safety distances.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never light fireworks while holding it in your hand.
  • Never re-light “dud” fireworks. Keep the unlit fireworks away from the firing area and in a closed box to prevent accidental ignition.
  • Place all discharged fireworks well away from combustible materials, i.e buildings, trees, dry grass, etc.  It is recommended that a bucket of water is used to keep all discharged fireworks for 30 minutes after they have been discharged. 
  • Dispose of fireworks in a metal garbage container.
  • Never give sparklers to small children. While sparklers are considered to be harmless fun, they burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.
  • If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if required. 

For more information of fireworks safety, please call the Fire Prevention office at 905-637-9536 or send us an email to

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