Family Fireworks Safety Tips

COVID-19: Hamilton Fire Department

Updated December 7, 2020

These programs/services remain operational:

  • Fire inspections for mandatory legislated inspections, life safety inspections and complaints regarding fire safety
  • Alarmed and Ready program on an as needed basis
  • Open Air Burn Permits available for purchase online, by phone (credit card payment only), in person at City Hall and via the drop box at selected Municipal Service Centers (Dundas, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek)

These programs/services are currently suspended:

  • Volunteer Inspection Program
  • Home Fire Safety Inspection Program
  • Commercial Inspections
  • Station, business and facilities tours
  • Community and public education events

Firework safetyThe Hamilton Fire Department along with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office recommend that citizens attend public firework displays put on by certified technicians that are trained to handle and discharge them safely.

The Hamilton Fire Department reminds residents choosing to have a family fireworks display that the Fireworks By-law only allows them to be set off on Victoria Day, Canada Day and the two days immediately before or after these two holidays. In addition, you may only set off fireworks on your own property; setting off fireworks on or over roadways or in parks is not permitted.

Fireworks safety tips

  • Purchase, handling and discharge of fireworks must only be done by adults, 18 years of age and older. Appoint one adult to be in charge of setting off them off, who knows about the hazards of fireworks and the essential safety precautions.
  • Carefully read and follow the label instructions on fireworks packaging including those for required clearances and set-backs.
  • Choose a clear, open space, away from buildings and combustible materials. Also check that there are no overhead wires or tree branches.
  • Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by.
  • Set up a ‘safe zone’ where the fireworks will be discharged. Keep all spectators, children and pets out of, and upwind from, this area. The label on the firework will tell you how far it will reach – the safe zone should be at least this distance.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box, away from the activation area, taking them out one at a time.
  • If not equipped with a base, firmly set the firework at least half its length in a bucket of sand or dirt, angled slightly away from spectators, checking the wind direction and speed before lighting.
  • Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.
  • Never lean over a firework at any time and keep hair and clothes away from fire sources.
  • Light only one firework at a time and ignite only at the tip of the fuse.
  • Never try to light a firework in your hand or hold a lit firework.
  • Use a flashlight to see what you are doing.
  • If a firework is a ‘dud” or misfires, approach it with caution. Never try to re-light a firework. Leave it for at least 30 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water.
  • If someone is burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary.

Sparkler safety tips

  • Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns.
  • Supervise the use of all sparklers, especially with children.
  • Children should have only one lit sparkler at a time and should not wave or point the sparkler in the direction of other people.
  • Sparklers may remain hot for several minutes after burnout and should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.
  • If someone is burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention if necessary.