Safety Tips to Prevent Fireworks Injuries

Edited by Admin
Safety Tips to Prevent Fireworks Injuries

Firework Injuries

People often buy fireworks in order to do something fun to celebrate a holiday or birthday. But if someone at the party is injured by fireworks, the celebration turns into a tragedy. Approximately two hundred adults and children in Canada are injured by fireworks every year, with the most common injuries being burns and eye-related injuries. Although fireworks are now widely available in Canada, they can be very dangerous unless directions are followed and safety precautions are taken.

Safety Tips for Fireworks Shows

Fireworks add dazzle to any occasion. They’re particularly apt for family celebrations such as landmark birthdays or anniversaries, or for community events such as carnivals, homecomings, or national or provincial holidays. Victoria Day celebrations would lose some of their pizzazz without a traditional fireworks display! And we all expect a glittering red-and-white show of light on Canada Day. Children particularly appreciate the flashing lights in the night sky, the pops and bangs and whistles, the bursts of colour and luminescence that make any night special and memorable.

Learning more about fireworks can help to ensure that your brilliant celebration will both spectacular and safe. There are four separate safety concerns to be aware of when planning a fireworks display:

  • Purchasing fireworks.
  • Setting up fireworks.
  • Fireworks show.
  • Safe disposal of fireworks.

Purchasing fireworks.

First of all, never try to make your own fireworks, and never tamper with commercial fireworks. The materials used can be volatile. (A deadly 2014 fire at a fireworks factory in Quebec may have been ignited simply by static electricity caused by friction.) These products should never be modified or opened up for experimentation.

Secondly, make sure you buy a legal product that has been approved for use and that meets Canadian safety standards. Get your fireworks at a reliable retailer, and never bring fireworks from other countries into Canada.

Before use, keep them in a cool, dry place safely locked away from children.

Setting up fireworks.

Read the instructions that accompany the fireworks thoroughly. Then reread them! Read all of the cautions and warnings about the products, and make sure that you understand them.

Set up outdoors (in the daylight) on a hard, flat, level surface in a large, open space. Do not use an area where there is dry grass or trees. (If a fire ban is in place, this also applies to fireworks.) Do not use fireworks within 100 metres of a church, school, residential care facility or a place where explosives are sold or stored. Do not set off fireworks closer than 30 metres to any structure or property line.


Plan the order of firing. Keep unused fireworks in a box, far away from any lit fireworks, burning cigarettes, or other flames. Set a bucket of sand, a supply of water, and a working fire extinguisher near the fireworks area.

When people arrive for the display, check which way the wind is blowing, and place the audience where wind won’t blow sparks at them. (If it’s quite windy, cancel the fireworks show, as this creates a dangerous situation.) Make sure people are seated at least as far away from the fireworks as is recommended in the instructions, and pay special attention to any children in the crowd to make sure that they don’t wander too close, putting themselves into danger. Instruct parents to keep their children close to them. Never give sparklers to young children.

Fireworks show.

Only adults may handle fireworks (18+). Have one adult in charge. That adult must be completely sober and responsible. The person in charge should wear eye protection and gloves.

If the fireworks do not have a stand, use a good firing base, such as a pail filled with earth or sand. (Set them at a ten-degree angle, pointed away from the crowd.) Light the firework at arm’s length and then stand back. Never lean over fireworks. Keep hair and clothes away from lighters and fireworks. Never attempt to re-light a firework that doesn’t ignite at first try. (Wait at least 30 minutes before approaching a “dud” firework, and then submerge it in water.) Never hold a lighted firework in your hand.

Safely disposing of fireworks.

Sparklers should be stored in a bucket of sand after they burn out, as they remain hot for a long time. Directions for disposing of the fireworks should be included with the purchase. Follow directions for safe disposal.

If Someone Is Injured

Even if you take precautions, accidents can happen. If someone suffers a burn, treat it immediately with cold running water, and if it is serious, call 911. Any eye injury will need immediate attention from a medical professional.

If someone is injured during a fireworks show that you have organized, or if you cause a fire, you may be liable for damages, and you may even be charged with criminal negligence.

If you or a family member has been injured by fireworks, call a personal injury lawyer today to find out what your options are. You may be able to make an insurance claim, or to bring a lawsuit against those responsible.