Happy Independence Day

As we get ready to celebrate our great country's independence here are some tips on fireworks regulations and safety.

The fireworks law was changed late in 2017, consumers can now purchase and use “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks that include firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. The expansion includes those fireworks that were previously only available to out-of-state residents.  The law also stipulated how and where fireworks could be discharged. The following restrictions apply: 

  • They cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner.
  • They cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building.
  • They cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building.
  • They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure, whether or not a person is actually present.
  • They cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.

Fireworks can be a fun event, but also a recipe for disaster if not conducted properly.  Here is a list of some basic safety tips: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Remember that pets have no idea what is going on when fireworks are being shot off.  This often causes intense fear and stress.  The Forth of July holiday is generally the busiest time of year for lost and found dogs.  Please take steps to ensure your furry loved ones safety. 

  • Always keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off.
  • Make sure they have somewhere to hide if they want to. For example make them a den with a towel over a table.
  • Walk your dog during the day to avoid taking them out at night when there might be fireworks.
  • Close all windows and doors, and block off cat flaps to stop pets escaping. This will also help keep the noise out.
  • Draw the curtains to block out the flashing lights.
  • Turn on the TV or radio, (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.
  • Make sure your pet is micro-chipped.
  • Stay calm and don’t show them there is something to panic over. Act normal and give lots of praise for calm behaviour. Reward them with treats!
  • Try not to leave your pet home alone, consider getting a sitter round if you have to go out for a long time. If you do have to leave them alone, make sure you leave the TV or radio on, and make them a den to hide in if they want to.
  • Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if they don’t show signs of being scared, when they are outside the crowds and noise will be stressful for them.

In closing, have a great holiday.  Enjoy it with family and friends.  Take a minute to remember what you're celebrating.  Don't eat to much, Don't drink and drive, be safe, have fun and be respectful of neighbors.  Fireworks show at 9PM is a great neighborhood event..... At 2 AM, not so much.