Family Fireworks Safety Tips

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 fireworks are only permitted on Victoria Day and Canada Day, between dusk and 11 pm. Family fireworks may only be purchased for use by people 18 and older. Fireworks must not be discharged on any public or City property. This includes roadways, streets, schoolyards and parks. Fireworks are dangerous. Please follow all safety guidelines on the packaging and on the manufacturer’s website - particularly regarding the distance to adjacent homes or other structures.

Should adverse weather conditions prevent your family fireworks, you may have them the day following the holiday only between dusk and 11 pm. Individuals or groups may commission professional firework displays at any time by contracting licensed Fireworks operators.

Report Discharge of Fireworks Outside Permitted Times or Noise Complaints

To report the discharge of fireworks outside permitted times or noise complaints, contact Municipal Law Enforcement:

  • Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 905-546-2782 option 2 or [email protected].
  • For after-hours and urgent fireworks complaints, contact 905-546-2489.

To report an emergency situation at any time of day/night, please call 911.

For more information, consult the Fireworks By-Law.

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 them off, and who understands the hazards of fireworks and the essential safety precautions.
  • Carefully read and follow the label instructions on the fireworks packaging or the manufacturer’s website, 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 one and one-half (1 ½) times 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 or adverse weather 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.