NEWS

Victoria Day fireworks: Safety tips to avoid fireworks injuries

05/18/2015 01:59 EDT | Updated 05/18/2016 05:59 EDT
As the night sky above Ashbridges Bay lights up with fireworks, many parks and backyards in Toronto will have their own Victoria Day pyrotechnics show.

Ontario's ministry of community safety, however, does not recommend it. 

The province encourages Ontarians to attend public fireworks displays, hosted by municipalities, rather than the informal fireworks displays in neighbourhoods.

But since the backyard fireworks will happen regardless, the province offers some safety tips:

- Only adults should handle and discharge fireworks.

- Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.

- Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.

- Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass.

- Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.

- Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or relight dud fireworks. For dud fireworks, it is best to wait 30 minutes and soak them in a bucket of water. Dispose of them in a metal container.

- Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.

- Keep sparklers away from children. Sparklers 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 necessary.

The city of Toronto says to call 311 to report illegal sale or possible misuse of fireworks, such as using fireworks on a day other than Canada Day or Victoria Day, and/or without a permit. 

The free Ashbridges Bay fireworks show begins at 10 p.m, and will feature more than 2,000 fireworks. The park is at the foot of Coxwell Avenue on Lake Shore Boulevard East.

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