Fire chief pushes firework safety on Canada Day

Ahead of Canada Day celebrations, fire officials are reminding B.C. residents of safety concerns around using fireworks. (Cory Correia/CBC News - image credit)
Ahead of Canada Day celebrations, fire officials are reminding B.C. residents of safety concerns around using fireworks. (Cory Correia/CBC News - image credit)

Canada Day is here, and Canadian fire officials are reminding the public about the safe use of fireworks.

Chief of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Ken McMullen says people should remember that fireworks are essentially explosives and are dangerous when conditions are hot and dry.

More than 700 fire departments nationwide respond to at least one call a year related to mishandling publicly available fireworks, McMullen said in a statement.

In many jurisdictions, permits are required to use fireworks. In Vancouver, the sale and use of fireworks by the general public is not allowed.

The federal government has released safety tips for using fireworks in places where its allowed — including making sure you follow instructions, having water nearby and not using fireworks in windy conditions.

Those wanting to use fireworks should check fire bans in their area, as fireworks can spark wildfires.

Large wildfires have already flared up in several provinces this year, including Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. While June was relatively cool and damp, B.C.'s provincial government has been preparing for a tough fire season amid provincewide drought.

For National Indigenous Peoples Day, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc in B.C.'s southern Interior hosted an aerial light show using drones instead of fireworks.

Fireworks can also be stressful for pets, and the B.C. SPCA suggests pet owners consider avoiding using fireworks.

The society says pets should be kept indoors when fireworks are going off and owners should ensure their animals have up-to-date identification in case they are startled and run off.