Canada Day Personal Injury & Safety

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – Often, we look forward to a relaxing Canada Day at a provincial park– away from it all. However, undoubtedly our kids will insist at about 8 p.m. that we hightail it downtown to watch the fireworks over Parliament Hill.

Despite the crush of being surrounded by a hundred thousand of our closest friends, this is still probably a wise idea. Do-it-yourself fireworks can be a problem. Canada does not keep statistics on injuries from fireworks. However, in May 1998 the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program examined its information for this type of injury. There were 175 fire-works-related injuries. 42% of the injuries were to kids aged 10 to 14.

Your odds probably don’t improve if you have enjoyed a few cold ones over the course of the day.  At minimum, if you are going to use consumer fireworks, follow these important safety tips from the Canada Safety Council:

  • Purchase your fireworks from a reliable source that sells products meeting safety standards.
  • Stay away from illegal firecrackers and do not improvise and make your own fireworks.
  • Read the Instructions, cautions and warnings on each firework item.
  • Store unused fireworks in a closed box away from the firework being lit and do not smoke around the fireworks.
  • Set up outdoors in a clear, open space. Light fireworks on a hard, flat and level surface to insure stability.
  • Check the wind and have the wind blowing away from the spectators.
  • Spectators should be at least 25 feet away from display, keeping special supervision on children.
  • Have a bucket of sand, supply of water and a working fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Only adults (18 years or over) should handle the fireworks. If you are impaired (alcohol or drugs) do not handle the fireworks.
  • Light only one firework item at a time.
  • Wear protective eye glasses and gloves. Light at arm’s length and then stand back.
  • Never lean over the fireworks and keep hair and clothes away from fire sources.
  • Never attempt to re-light a “dud” or defective firework.
  • Never hold a lighted firework item in your hand.
  • Sparklers should be immersed in a bucket of sand to cool down after burning out, as they remain very hot for some time.
  • Fireworks should be disposed of safely and properly.

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