Firework Safety: What You Need to Know for the Canada Day Long Weekend


Written By: Michael Warfe and Brock Turville, Summer Student

The Canada Day long weekend is fast approaching and many Canadians will head out to catch a public fireworks display. Others will choose to purchase fireworks and put on a show of their own. If you are planning on using fireworks this weekend, there are several safety tips that should be kept in mind.


  • Buy fireworks from a reliable retailer
  • Keep fireworks out of reach of children
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry area
  • Carefully read and follow instructions on firework packaging
  • Find a flat, stable surface to discharge fireworks
  • Discharge fireworks in an open, clear area free of obstructions and away from the home
  • Light one firework at a time
  • Keep a pail of water or hose nearby
  • Stand upwind from where the fireworks are discharged
  • Keep pets indoors


  • Make your own fireworks or attempt to modify store-bought fireworks
  • Let minors (people under 18) discharge fireworks
  • Give sparklers to children, as they burn very hot and can ignite clothing
  • Discharge fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Light a firework in your hand
  • Smoke while discharging fireworks
  • Discharge fireworks around dry vegetation
  • Attempt to re-light a firework that does not discharge

If a firework does not discharge, wait at least 30 minutes before approaching it. After use, soak all fireworks in water and then dispose of them in a metal container.

You should consult the firework bylaws in your area before buying and using fireworks. The firework bylaws for Toronto can be read here.

In Toronto, a permit is not required on Canada Day to discharge consumer fireworks, but you must be at least 18 years of age to purchase fireworks.

What should I do if someone has been injured?

If someone has suffered a minor burn from a firework or lighter, you should run the affected area under cold water for 3-5 minutes. If the injury is serious, you should seek immediate medical attention.

If you decide to put on your own fireworks display, please keep these tips in mind to ensure a fun and safe long weekend. Regardless of where you are this weekend, remember to stay safe and keep others in mind. Enjoy the long weekend, Canada!

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