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Long weekend fireworks safety tips

Fireworks are as much a part of the Victoria Day long weekend tradition as cottages and brewskies — but they can also be dangerous.

With that in mind, Toronto Fire is reminding revelers to take some simple, precautionary steps.

“Take the time to plan, prepare, protect and prevent: plan and prepare for a safe display, protect all participants/viewers and prevent a fireworks-related accident,” Toronto Fire advised in an email to CityNews.

CityNews reporter Natalie Duddridge has more on how to put on a dazzling, and safe, display in the above video, and Toronto Fire has more tips below.

Plan:

• Fireworks may only be used without a permit on designated holidays (such as Victoria Day).

• Purchase fireworks from a retailer displaying a City-issued fireworks vendor permit.

• Always read and follow the label directions.

Prepare:

• Before fireworks and sparklers are used, they should be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer.

• Discharge the fireworks a safe distance from combustible materials such as buildings and trees.

• Before they are ignited, fireworks should be buried at least half their length into a bucket of sand or earth (if portable firing bases are not available). Plant the fireworks directly into the sand/ground to make sure each piece is firmly supported and aimed straight up.

Protect:

• Light the fireworks at arm’s length, stand back and keep your face turned away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for 10 to 15 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.

• The adult igniting the fireworks should wear eye protection and avoid having any part of his or her body over the firework.

• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

• Never discharge fireworks in metal or glass containers.

• Never discharge fireworks indoors.

• If someone does suffer a burn, run cool water over it for a few minutes and consider further treatment.

Prevent:

• In order to prevent an accident or injury, sparklers should be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children playing. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing or other nearby combustible material.

• Do not allow sparklers to be used indoors.

• Children make a great audience but they should never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling the fireworks materials while spectators watch the display from a safe distance.

• One designated adult should ignite the fireworks.

• Ignited fireworks should never be hand-held.

• Light only one firework item at a time.

• Always have water on hand – a garden hose and bucket of water – to soak fireworks after they have fired.