Fireworks safety a must-learn for every family member

Fireworks safety a must-learn for every family member

If your family is anything like our families at Miller Restoration, you take every opportunity to enjoy your weekends with fun, family oriented stuff – simple stuff, like bike rides, hikes, backyard barbecues and even fireworks.

Come the first long weekend of Canada’s unofficial start to summer – May 2-4 – Canadians just like you and me love to fire up the barbecue and light up the night sky with backyard fireworks. Fast-forward to any summer weekend, and you can likely find fireworks for sale at pop-up outlets and local department stores throughout Niagara.

Why? Because, even though it may not be a long weekend with a special holiday, backyard fireworks make for great “summer celebration” and family time, whether at home, at the trailer, or at the cottage.

Now, this is not to say hosting a backyard fireworks show in your municipality will be legal. The very first thing you should do, when fireworks are mentioned, is check your municipality’s website for bylaws concerning fireworks in your neighbourhood.

Fireworks and open fires may also be prohibited due to drought or dry conditions, so it pays to check first, before having to pay a fine, or worse – before causing a fire.

So if you plan to “set some off” this summer, it’s good to be aware of a few, basic, safety measures.

On its webpage, Natural Resources Canada offers tips for consumer fireworks safety. If you are new to setting off fireworks at home or at the cottage, it’s a good idea to watch the provided safety video first.

Tips include:

  • Ascertain the legality of your planned display, before purchasing fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry, place, out of the reach of children.
  • Plan ahead and gather safety materials before you begin: Keep a garden hose and buckets of sand handy; and prepare a firing base before you start. The firing base can be a large bucket, wheelbarrow or planter filled with sand or dirt.
  • If you are the person setting off the fireworks, it’s a good idea to wear safety glasses; gloves; long pants, and a shirt that is tucked in.
  • Choose a wide, clear site well away from any obstacles, like houses; decks; trailers; cars, and your garage.
  • Ensure your audience, especially small children, remain a safe distance back from the firing base.
  • Set fireworks into sand or dirt at a 10-degree angle, pointing away from your audience. For fireworks without a base, set them halfway into the sand or dirt, unless instructions state otherwise.
  • If a firework ignites but fails to go off, do not attempt to relight it. Wait 30 minutes before removing it from the firing base, then place into a pail of water before disposal.
  • Regarding sparklers: It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyhow: Children should be supervised by adults (preferably some who haven’t had too much to drink!).
  • Place all fireworks and sparklers in a pail of water before disposal.
  • If the weather is windy, put your show off until a day when conditions are more favourable.
  • Read the instructions that come with your fireworks. Do not attempt to light fireworks while you are holding them, unless they are designed to be hand-held (like sparklers, for example).

There are great family memories to be made with your weekend backyard barbecue and fireworks show. However, if you aren’t sure about putting safety measures in place, our team at Miller Restoration advises packing up the family and attending a public fireworks show, where you can still make some awesome memories.

Stop for treats like donuts or popsicles, then cram everyone onto a blanket in a place where you can see the show (don’t forget to bring the mosquito repellant!). If you make it an annual tradition, this will be just as much fun as your own show – perhaps more – because the public shows tend to be more professionally organized.

Whatever you do, remember that safety comes first. Have fun with your backyard fireworks, but please, consider all the safety measures before you begin.

Our family at Miller Restoration wishes your family a fun, safe, summer in the backyard!


Are you in need of advice following a disaster in or outside of your home? Our experts at Miller Restoration would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call the Miller office at 905-688-9224, or visit our website contact page, HERE