Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP – Personal Injury Law – Michael J. Henry
Michael J. Henry

Fireworks are not toys. They are a very powerful pyrotechnics explosive and for this reason their sale and purchase are regulated by the Government. The Government routinely tests fireworks and approves them for sale and use. Never attempt to make or discharge your own fireworks.

When using fireworks, simple safety procedures must be followed. Your municipality may prohibit their use. Before considering using fireworks, check with your local municipality to see what if any restrictions there are, particularity when and where fireworks can be used.

Human Hand Holding phone camera over fireworks

It is important to bury the fireworks that do not have a base, halfway either in the ground or a container of earth, unless the label indicates otherwise. It should be set at a ten degree angle pointed away from people. Choose a wide and clear site away from any obstacles or overhangs. Often firework labels will have a minimum safety distance for spectators.

Never try to light a firework or hold it in your hand unless the instructions indicate that it is to be handheld. To light the firework, always light the fuse at its tip and then clear the area. Do not light fireworks in windy conditions. It is recommended that safety glasses should be worn by the person lighting the fireworks.

Fireworks should not be used by individuals under 18 years of age unless they are supervised by an adult. All instructions on the fireworks should be read in advance of their use. The order of firing should be decided before beginning. Any fireworks that are unused, or until they are to be used, should be kept in a cool and dry area out of reach/secured away from children.

If a firework does not go off, it is recommended that you should wait 30 minutes before approaching it. You should douse it with water. Never try to relight a firework that did not go off. Do not try to fix the firework that did not light as it should be considered defective and not be reused.

Some fireworks are meant to be held by hand. Children should never play with fireworks without direct adult supervision. If they are allowed to use fireworks such as sprinklers, they should be used outside and kept away from clothing, hair and the face. Never throw a firework at a person. Never use any fireworks when there is a fire alert warning in effect. It is estimated that fire departments respond to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.

After the fireworks display, the area should be checked for any fireworks that might still be simmering. Some might not have gone off completely and may still be active and explode at any time. All debris and old fireworks should be soaked in water after use and before being thrown into a trash bin.

Think about your pets when using fireworks. They are very sensitive to the noise. They can become afraid, and distressed. They should be kept indoors and away from the fireworks in order to reduce the risk of their running into the fireworks, or being hit by falling debris.

Should anyone be injured by fireworks, immediately call a doctor or go to the nearest hospital. Eye injuries are unfortunately frequent. If this occurs, you should not touch or rub the eye as it may cause more damage. Do not flush it out with water or ointment. Instead, cut off the bottom of a paper cup and place it around and over the eye and immediately seek medical attention. If you are burnt, remove the clothing from the burned area and run cool water over it. Do not use ice.

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, but an accident will take the fun out of it. Fireworks are much more enjoyable when everyone knows that they are being used safely. By taking precautions, your holiday will be safe and memorable.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Michael Henry at 416-361-0889 or

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