Special Effects and Dangerous Filming Activities

You need approval from the Hamilton Police Services and the Fire Department to use any of the following:

  • Guns
  • Gun-fire
  • Explosives
  • Fireworks
  • Bomb mock-ups
  • Flash power
  • Detonators
  • Flammable liquids/materials
  • The filming of dangerous stunts 

Request forms: Firearms and Gunfire (PDF, 23 KB), SPFX Pyrotechniques, Gunfire and Squibs (PDF, 20 KB) , Squibs only (PDF, 19 KB) ot be submitted with your film permit application.

The Hamilton Fire Department requires a full and complete information package to be submitted for approval for the following activities prior to any use in a film shot within the City of Hamilton. These information packages are to be submitted along with your film permit application.

The following is a list of documents and information that should be included in all submissions for display fireworks:

  • Fireworks Supervisor’s name, address, contact numbers and Level of ERD certification.
  • ERD Certificate number and expiry date. Photocopy is acceptable.
  • List of all devices being used OR written confirmation that all devices being used are on the List of Authorized Explosives as issued by the Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada.  The Hamilton Fire Department reserves the right to request a detailed list of devices, if deemed necessary.
  • Indication of High-level, Low-level and/or Ground-level fireworks being used.
  • Date of show or event.
  • Location of show or event. If the event is being fired from an unconventional site such as a barge, bridge, flatbed or rooftop, you must obtain written permission from the Explosives Regulatory Division prior to submitting the Display Fireworks Information Package to this Department.
  • Comprehensive site plan. The site plan should include:
    • Address of site.
    • Name of facility or site.
    • Location and direction of firing areas.
    • All relevant distances such as clearance to spectators, roadways, buildings and fall out zones. Adequate clearances and fallout zones shall be indicated to allow for adjustments for wind speed and direction on the day of the display.
    • Prevailing wind direction.
    • Adjacent buildings or structures.
    • Type of ground cover such as trees, field, paved area, etc.
    • Access roads.
    • Position of ramps and mortars.
    • Parking areas.
    • Location of emergency vehicles.
    • North arrow.
    • Spectator viewing areas.
  • Safety Equipment such as 3A-60BC or 10 litre pressurized water fire extinguishers and first aid kit.
  • Complete list of crew members, ERD certificate numbers and expiry dates.
  • Description of safety precautions in place which includes line-of-sight to devices and spectators, extinguishers, safety meeting and emergency shutdown method.
  • Proof of Insurance - Insurer’s name, Policy #, amount of liability coverage with a minimum $5,000,000.
  • Traffic control plans , if needed.
  • Emergency response procedures.
  • Hamilton Police Service approval if event requires road closures or traffic diversion.
  • Crowd control measures, if needed.
  • Site cleanup process after the display.
  • Letter of consent from building or property owner.

The following is a list of documents and information that should be included in all submissions for flame effects:

  • Location of production, show or event.
  • Date and time of production, show or event.
  • Name of person, group or organization responsible for the production.
  • Flame Effect Classification - Group I through VII, include all that apply.
  • Company name.
  • Sponsoring Organization and address.
  • Comprehensive site plan. It should include:
    • A narrative description of the flame effect.
    • The location of flame effect devices to be fired and their controls and sequence.
    • The area affected by the flame effect device.
    • The location of the audience.
    • The fuels used and their estimated consumption.
    • Air for combustion and ventilation for indoor effects.
    • Flammable material piping.
    • Storage and holding areas and their capacities.
    • Supplemental fire protection features which includes line-of-sight to devices, extinguishers, safety meeting, and emergency shutdown method.
    • Emergency response procedures.
    • Means of egress.
  • A current material safety data sheet or MSDA for the materials or fuels consumerd in the flame effect.
  • Documentation that the combustible materials used for the construction of the flame effects have been rendered flame retardant.
  • Name of the effect operator.
  • Letter of consent from building or property owner.
  • Proof of Insurance – Insurer name, policy #, amount of liability coverage with a minimum of $5,000,000.
  • Disconnection of smoke detectors, etc. and alternate plans if necessary.
  • Traffic control plans, if applicable.
  • Hamilton Police approval if necessary for road closures.


For effects that involve the use of compressed gas or liquid flame generators, such as propane flame bars, flame breathing dragon, etc. contact Technical Stands and Safety Authority or TSSA at 1-877-682-8772 to obtain approval.

The following is a list of documents and information that should be included in all submissions for pyrotechnics:

  • Pyrotechnician’s name, address, contact numbers and class of ERD certification
  • ERD Certificate number and expiry date (photocopy is acceptable)
  • List of all devices being used as listed in the list of Authorized Explosives issued by the Explosives Regulatory Division of the Natural Resources Canada.
  • Date of show or event.
  • Location of show or event.
  • Comprehensive site plan. The site plan should include:
    • Address of site.
    • Name of facility or site.
    • Location and direction of firing areas.
    • All relevant distances such as clearance to spectators, roadways, buildings and fall out zones. Adequate clearances and fallout zones shall be indicated to allow for adjustments for wind speed and direction on the day of the display.
    • Prevailing wind direction.
    • Adjacent buildings or structures.
    • Type of ground cover such as trees, field, paved area, etc.
    • Access roads.
    • Position of ramps and mortars.
    • Parking areas.
    • Location of emergency vehicles.
    • North arrow.
    • Spectator viewing areas.
  • Fire extinguishers – at least 2 required with a minimum rating of 3A-60BC. One of the two can be a 10 litre pressurized water unit. Extinguishers must be located within 15 metres of the pyrotechnics special effects. These 2 fire extinguishers are in addition to those already at the location.
  • Description of devices being used.
  • Cueing or firing sequence of devices.
  • Complete list of crew members, ERD certificate numbers and expiry dates.
  • Description of safety precautions in place which includes line-of-sight to devices, extinguishers, safety meeting and emergency shutdown method.
  • Proof of Insurance - Insurer’s name, Policy #, amount of liability coverage with a minimum of $5,000,000.
  • Traffic control plans, if needed.
  • Emergency response procedures.
  • Police approval if display or event requires road closures or traffic diversion.
  • Crowd control measures, if needed.
  • Site cleanup process after the display.
  • Letter of consent from building or property owner.

For effects that involve the use of compressed gas or liquid flame generators, such as propane flame bars, flame breathing dragon, etc. contact Technical Stands and Safety Authority or TSSA at 1-877-682-8772 to obtain approval.

For effects that involve the use of blank gunfire and squibs contact Hamilton Police Services – ERU branch at 905-546-4758 to obtain approval.

Test Firing: In unique situations Hamilton Fire Department may require a test firing of devices.

Paid Duty Officers and Emergency Medical Services Personnel must be on set for the detonation of pyrotechnic special effects and dangerous situations.

Written notice required for changes to approved information packages

Once the information packages have been approved, no changes, additions or substitutions of activities are permitted without written notification and associated details being forwarded to this Department. In addition this Department is to be notified in writing of any changes or modifications to any information originally provided to this Department.