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Halloween fire costs plunge in Vancouver in first year of firework ban

Click to play video: 'Halloween fireworks persist, despite Metro Vancouver bans' Halloween fireworks persist, despite Metro Vancouver bans
WATCH: If you were hoping a fireworks ban in most parts of Metro Vancouver this year would lead to a quieter Halloween - you were likely disappointed. Despite threats of hefty fines, the explosions continued well into the night. As John Hua reports, love them or hate them - critics say the current rules are not working – Nov 1, 2021

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services says the city saw a massive plunge in costs associated with the use of fireworks this Halloween, the first year the city’s ban on the sale and use of consumer fireworks was in effect.

Over Halloween weekend in 2020, the service reported a total dollar loss for fireworks-related incidents to $408,000.

This year, that figure dropped to just $5,500.

Read more: Vancouver’s ban on sale and use of consumer fireworks in effect Nov. 1

Firefighters said there was also a decrease in the number of fires over the Halloween weekend from 35 in 2020 to 25 (14 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday). For comparison, the fire service said it is called to about 10 fire incidents on an average day.

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The decrease in fires and costs came despite the decision by many people in Vancouver to use fireworks in defiance of the ban.

Click to play video: '88-year-old Vancouver woman hit by firework in West End apartment' 88-year-old Vancouver woman hit by firework in West End apartment
88-year-old Vancouver woman hit by firework in West End apartment – Oct 31, 2020

That prompted a number of Vancouverites to take to social media to complain about firework enforcement.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services acknowledged that “some fireworks did slip through,” but said the “effectiveness of the ban may take some time.”

Read more: Vancouver council to debate ban on sale of Halloween fireworks

It said no fireworks were seized and no tickets were handed out over the Halloween weekend.

“Challenges remain with people still having the ability to purchase fireworks from other municipalities not affected by the ban, or through online purchases that remain unregulated,” it said in a media release.

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Under the firework regulations implemented last November, fines for the illegal sale or discharge of fireworks climbed from $500 to $1,000.

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