Using fireworks this Canada Day: The dos and don’ts

Fireworks are not permitted within Wetaskiwin City limits.

Canada Day is a time to celebrate, and many Canadian’s like to send the holiday off with fireworks.

Fireworks on Canada Day are a tradition for many, however there are a few important things to think about if you plan on putting on a fireworks display.

Fireworks within Wetaskiwin City limits are not permitted and you can be fined $150 if you set them off. However, fireworks are permitted within the County of Wetaskiwin outside of Wetaskiwin City limits.

If you plan on purchasing fireworks you must also first purchase a Fireworks permit.

Deputy Fire Chief for the Wetaskiwin Fire Department Alex Plant says that it is important to consider the weather conditions when planning on lighting fireworks. “Is it moist out? Is it dry out?” He says. The weather is crucial when determining weather it is an appropriate time or place for fireworks.

Plant wants to remind people about a very important part of fireworks—and it’s even in the name. He stresses the importance of remembering that fireworks, are in fact, fire.

“Fireworks are a great thing to set off in the evening,” Plant says, however, “what measures do they have in place?”

When lighting fireworks not only do you have to consider the weather conditions, including if fireworks increase the chance of a large grass fire because of dry weather, but the preventative measure in place in case of an awry firework.

Plant urges people to ensure that if they are going to use fireworks to have methods prepared to help should a firework show not go as planned. “What do you have prepared to put a fire out if it happens?” He asks, explaining the risks.

It is also important to be aware of where your fireworks are aimed. In years past the Fire Department has responded to calls where “people set them off in their pasture areas and they’ll set grass on fire,” Plant says.

Or a poorly aimed firework has set fire to somebody’s roof.

“Usually when something goes sideways we end up getting called out,” says Plant. He acknowledges that it is important, but also disappointing when the department is called away from their families on the holiday to put out fires that were preventable.

He states the importance of looking to see where your fireworks land after lighting them. Checking your land and ensuring all fireworks are complete is important, because some fireworks if not completely exploded can go off again—even if they are on the ground.

This is a large cause of fires incurred from fireworks.

Plant also wants to remind people of the responsibility that comes with lighting fireworks. If a fire is started by fireworks you lit, whether it is you’re property or not, you are responsible for the fire fees if the Fire Department has to respond.

At $600 plus an hour, it is a hefty price to pay.

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