Vancouver Rescue Fire Services (VFRS) is reminding the public about how to safely and lawfully use fireworks this coming Halloween.
October 31, 2020, will be the last opportunity for residents to legally purchase and make use of consumer fireworks. Starting November, a ban will take effect that prohibits the commercial sale and use of the product.
VFRS says that anyone who wants to purchase, possess, and use fireworks “must first obtain a free permit” from the City of Vancouver website. The permit, along with proof of age, must be presented when purchasing any products for consumer use.
This year, however, as part of the upcoming ban, businesses that sell fireworks will be required to close by October 31 at 6 pm as opposed to midnight. This is to ensure that consumers have “sufficient time to handle and set up their fireworks properly and safely.”
The fine for violating rules surrounding fireworks is also being doubled this Halloween, from $500 to $1,000.
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Johnathan Gormick, Public Information Officer for VFRS adds that fireworks can only be used on private property by the permit holder and only on October 31.
“VFRS’ Fire Prevention Division will be out in force monitoring retailers’ storage, sales, and permit-enforcement during the week,” VFRS says in a statement.
“Retailers selling without authorization, improperly storing, selling non-compliant items, or selling to those without a permit and proof of age will face fines, inventory seizure, and potential prosecution.”
Tips for safely using fireworks include ensuring that they’re safely handled by an adult in an area that’s free of combustibles and excess vegetation. Personal safety equipment such as gloves and protective eyewear should also be considered, as well as a bucket of water to soak “dud” fireworks.
The sale, possession, and use of consumer fireworks will be banned in the City of Vancouver starting November 1, 2020, after a motion was approved by Vancouver City Council last year.
The City of Vancouver will eliminate the permit system and process that allows for consumer-grade fireworks to be purchased by the public.
The upcoming ban won’t apply to large-scale city events or holidays that have certified fireworks technicians, such as New Year’s Eve, Canada Day, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and the Celebration of Lights.