Fire chief offers Canada Day safety tips
Fire chief offers Canada Day safety tips
June 29, 2017
St. Catharines Standard
 
St. Catharines fire Chief Dave Wood is asking people to ensure that their Canada Day celebrations don't become tragedies this weekend.
 
In a media release, Wood reminded residents that they are only permitted to use commercial fireworks on their properties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary. Fines for violating the bylaw will cost people $300.
 
He also offered a few tips for enjoying backyard fireworks safely.
 
Fireworks must only be used outdoors and at a safe distance from structures, and never throw or point fireworks at other people, trees, buildings or structures. Follow directions and have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.
 
Residents should only purchase fireworks from businesses that have a posted City Consumer Fireworks Sales Permit issued by the fire chief.
 
As a less expensive and safer alternative, Wood recommends spending Saturday evening enjoying the Port Dalhousie Lions Club's fireworks display, Saturday at 10 p.m.
 
Although access to Henley Island will be closed during the display, the fireworks can be viewed from Rennie Park, Jaycee Park and the surrounding area.
 
“I always recommend residents attend a public fireworks display to avoid the risk of suffering burns, injuries and property damage related to setting off fireworks themselves,” Wood said. “I’d rather not see residents use fireworks at home. If they do, I urge people to know the risks and to be safe.”
 
Meanwhile, backyard cooking fires are permitted as well, if the fires are contained in small pits covered with a grill and at least three metres away from buildings, trees, fences and other structures, with a means of extinguishing the fires within reach.
 
Fires must also never be left unattended.
 
Meanwhile, Wood also expressed concerns about carelessly discarded cigarette butts.
 
“It’s never OK to just freely flick a lit cigarette end or used match anywhere because they can smolder for some time and create a fire by igniting other combustibles nearby,” he said. “Long stretches of warm and dry weather similar to what we experience in a typical St. Catharines summer can set the table for a fire to spread out of control quickly if residents are not careful.”