Fireworks being mistaken for gunshots in Edmonton

Canada Day fireworks over Edmonton's river valley. July 1, 2015. Global News

The city has a warning for Edmonton residents setting off fireworks: you need a permit.

In less than two weeks, Edmonton police have been called out to dozens of reports of what people thought were gunshots, when in fact it was fireworks.

Since July 1, 14 people have called 911 to report fireworks being used. According to the City of Edmonton, people are also calling 911 mistakenly reporting gunshots when it was actually fireworks.

Russell Croome, deputy fire chief of public safety with Edmonton Fire Rescue, said 911 has received 47 of those calls in less than two weeks.

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“These calls tie up dispatch lines affecting both police and fire resources,” Croome said.

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Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Edmonton, fireworks are not allowed on public land in places like parks or schoolyards and anyone wanting to shoot off fireworks on private land must apply online for a permit. A fireworks permit will take at least five working days to be processed.

Croome said once a permit has been approved, people should call the Fire Rescue Dispatch Centre at 780-414-7332 to report where and when the fireworks display will take place — at least 30 minutes before discharge.

Edmonton Fire Rescue said it hasn’t approved any fireworks permits since it reopened applications on June 25.

Six applications were submitted and all of them were denied for various reasons.

A couple of those applications did not have adequate space, another was outside the city and others would have had fireworks reaching over city parks or roadways.

The fine for discharging fireworks without a permit is $250.

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