Victoria Day is one of those holidays that goes hand in hand with fireworks. My childhood memories of the May-long weekend were always capped off by a fantastic fireworks display organized by family members in someone’s backyard. Safety was always a prime focus, but that goes with the territory when the show is being run by keen volunteer Fire Fighters. When I spent my first Victoria Day in the Limestone City, I was amazed by the number of people in my neighbourhood who were launching store-bought pyrotechnics in their backyards, in spite of the close proximity to other homes and trees. The lack of sirens on nights like tonight is evidence that such displays aren’t starting fires, or causing serious injuries requiring emergency services. Even so, the use of fireworks by some less than careful members of the community does raise concerns. Accordingly, this week’s poll asks:
Should Kingston ban residential/consumer fireworks?
- No, most people use them safely. (46%, 66 Votes)
- Yes. Risk of injury/fire is significant. (33%, 48 Votes)
- Their use should be restricted. (19%, 28 Votes)
- Something else entirely. (1%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 144
The City of Kingston and Kingston Fire and Rescue offer the following safety reminders to those who are planning on launching fireworks tonight, as well as over future holidays throughout the summer:
- Never set off fireworks during an open air burning ban.
- Check the wind conditions – postpone fireworks if wind is strong.
- Always have a supply of water nearby (garden hose or pail of water).
- Persons using fireworks must be at least 18 years old.
- Keep everyone at least 25′ from the fireworks firing line.
- Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
- Light fireworks at arm’s length, then immediately stand back.
- Never hold a lit firework in your hand.
- Never take fireworks apart or modify them in any way – only purchase fireworks from a reliable source.
- Use fireworks as per manufacturer’s instructions. Incline fireworks away from spectators, combustible materials, and vegetation.
- Never give sparklers to children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing and result in severe burns and/or eye injuries. The sparkler wire remains very hot after burnout and should be soaked in a bucket of water before discarding.
- Never lean over fireworks or attempt to pick up a ‘dud’ for at least 30 minutes.
- Keep all pets safely indoors.
- It is unlawful to set off fireworks on municipally owned property and roadways.
If your vote was to restrict the use or sale fireworks, please elaborate with a comment or two. Thanks to Sharon W for today’s photo.