Canada Day is fast approaching and if your plans include staying home, but you want to add some extra flare to your celebrations, here’s what you need to know about launching fireworks in the city.
Michael Mostaway owns Pyrowest Fireworks west of Edmonton. He’s also a licensed fireworks display supervisor.
“The first thing we should look for when we’re setting up a firework display is the site that you’re going to be shooting out of,” Mostaway explained.
“Are there obstructions? Is there any sort of overhead wiring or trees in the way?
“Are you looking at dry grass or anything that could cause a fire?”
He said for consumer fireworks, everything is quite safe as long as you’re following the instructions.
“Each firework tells you how high it will go,” said deputy fire chief of public safety Russell Croome.
“Take that distance and times it by two and that’s the distance you should have to any structures and trees and certainly your audience.”
Once a good firing area has been established, find a reputable fireworks supplier.
“There’s a few of us in Edmonton and in the area — talk to them they will guide you in the right direction.”
Mostaway said the most dangerous thing he sees people doing is trying to use fireworks while holding them in their hands.
“In Canada, the only thing that’s actually designed to be held in your hand is sparklers; everything else should be secured in a spot using sand or loose gravel,” he explained.
If the fireworks are legal in Canada, labelling should include both official languages.
“Illegal fireworks are always an issue,” he said.
“Firecrackers, M-80s, cherry bombs… bottle rockets — anything without a controlled flight path is a safety issue.”
It’s important to wear proper clothing and safety glasses too. Mostaway noted 20 per cent of all firework-related injuries are to the eyes.
Don’t drink and detonate.
“You need to have a designated shooter, and that shooter needs to be sober,” Mostaway said.
To use fireworks in Edmonton on your property, you’ll need a Tier I permit.
“One of the permit conditions would be to have an extinguisher or water source nearby,” Croome explained.
Once public health restrictions are gone, the city will once again issue Tier II fireworks permits for bigger displays on public property.
“That’s where we would encourage you to hire — for community events or a faith gathering celebration — a qualified professional to do the display for you.”
More information about permits can be found on the City of Edmonton’s website.
The City of Edmonton is going ahead with its fireworks display on July 1. It will also be livestreamed.
The City of St. Albert announced its Canada Day fireworks would not take place because of the location.
The event was planned for Mission Hill, which the city explained is the site of the former Youville Residential School.