Keep your distance, and follow rules for fireworks, CYFS fire chief says
NewmarketToday.ca
 

While Canada Day typically means gathering with friends and family to enjoy barbeques, bonfires and fireworks, residents are reminded to follow public health guidance and encouraged to celebrate within your social circle of 10 people this year. Central York Fire Services urges Newmarket and Aurora residents to consider first responder resources and user safety when deciding to use fireworks at home this Canada Day.

“Celebrating our great country will look different in 2020, but it’s an opportunity to showcase our Canadian spirit of kindness, community and an appreciation for the greater good,” says CYFS Chief Ian Laing. “This year, celebrate with your tight social circle of no more than 10 people to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep fire safety top of mind.”

Avoid the temptation to gather with people outside of your household or social circle, and if you do, always keep a six foot / two-meter separation to avoid potential transmission. Physical distancing measures remain in place and residents are asked to stay vigilant. The Town of Newmarket and Aurora will be enforcing all bylaws related to the emergency orders and fire safety. 

Firework use, handling & disposal
Fireworks are not allowed on public property, including parks, streets and open fields/spaces in Newmarket and Aurora. If you use fireworks at home, you must follow the rules and safety steps. Fines for improper use of fireworks in Newmarket start at $600 in accordance with fireworks bylaw 2015-18. Fines for improper use of fireworks in Aurora start at $105 in accordance with fireworks bylaw 5373-11.

Before you set off fireworks, go through this checklist of rules and safety advice:

Rules & Regulations when using fireworks

  • Property limits: You are only permitted to use fireworks on your own property and only if the front of your property is a minimum of 18 metres (59 ft.) wide. If you’re renting, you must have written permission from the homeowner to use fireworks.
  • Date: Fireworks are only permitted on specific dates: Newmarket residents June 30, July 1 and July 2; Aurora residents June 30 and July 1.
  • Time: only use fireworks between dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.) and 11 p.m.
  • User: You must be 18 years of age or older to discharge fireworks.

Tips for safe use:

  • Buy from a reliable source: steer clear of illegal explosives and never make your own. Only sparkler fireworks, fountain fireworks, roman candles and pinwheel fireworks are allowable for general consumer sale and use.
  • Handle with caution: fireworks must be handled by an adult. Carefully read and follow directions on the label of fireworks packaging.
  • Prepare the space: only use fireworks outside and have a water source handy and ready to use (buckets of water or garden hose turned on). Be aware and cautious of surrounding dry vegetation which can be flammable.
  • Igniting fireworks: keep children far away from the discharge site.
  • Always aim the fireworks away from people and buildings.
  • Never hold the fireworks in your hand when lighting or discharging.
  • Do not smoke while handling or near fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time. Never set off fireworks during strong winds.
  • Never re-light a dud firework. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak the dud in a bucket of water.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Wear eye protection and never have any part of their body over the firework.

Clean up & disposal: 

  • Pick up debris when finished and check for embers or smoldering materials. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper disposal of fireworks.

Remember to be considerate of your neighbours and pets when using fireworks.

At this time, there is no fire ban in Newmarket or Aurora. However, we do not encourage residents to have campfires as they present a potential to get out of hand, which could put added strain on first responders.

If you have a campfire, please visit
 cyfs.ca/outdoorburning to check if your property has the proper set backs to safely enjoy a bonfire at your home. 

Distracted cooking is the leading cause of house fires. With everyone home, people have been inspired to cook, bake and soon grill, more than usual. Learn how to prevent fires in the kitchen at
 cyfs.ca/cooking-safety and tips on how to maintain your barbeque at cyfs.ca/barbeque-safety.

CYFS asks residents to be extra fire aware and prepared this summer. Remember, whenever there is a flame, always have a water source on hand and ready for action. However, never pour water onto a grease fire. If the fire cannot be suppressed, alert others, evacuate and then call 911 from a safe location. 

For more information, safety tips and links to town bylaws, visit
 cyfs.ca

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