Fireworks have been used by Canadian families and communities for generations to celebrate significant events like Canada Day and other cultural events.
The Canadian Press reports that Alberta is looking at banning consumer fireworks because the concern is that consumer fireworks such as Roman Candles and bottle rockets could cause wildfires or injure people who light them or watch them go off. Bottle rockets are not fireworks and are not legal in Canada. Consumer fireworks are a legal product in Canada and in the province of Alberta and most other provinces around the country. Legal fireworks are put through rigorous federal product testing before they can be sold and used. Alberta already has the most restrictive provincial legislation for the sale and use of legal fireworks in the province. It is counter-intuitive to ban fireworks if the goal is to improve safety. Banning fireworks often leads to the illegal sale and use of the products and removes the opportunity to educate the public; which can result in higher rates of injury and property damage.
According to national statistics, you are over 100 times more likely to be injured by candles than fireworks and over 20 times more likely to experience property damage from candles than fireworks. So what’s next…a ban on candles?
How does Alberta and its municipalities ban a legal product that is federally regulated and can be purchased in neighbouring municipalities? Banning is not the answer to creating safer communities; instead we need fair and reasonable regulations like most of the municipalities have throughout the country. In fact, some jurisdictions that have bans in place continue to report fires attributable to fireworks. In contrast, statistics show that jurisdictions that have permissive fireworks by-laws have reported a significant decrease in the number of fireworks related incidents.
Dominique Allen is the Executive Director of the Canadian National Fireworks Association (www.national fireworks.ca), the national voice of the fireworks industry in Canada. Through advocacy and promotion of responsible government regulation of the industry, the CNFA is the leading national voice to advocate for the safe sale and use of legal fireworks in Canada.Dominique Allen Executive Director 1-855-652-2632 604-853-2255 Dominique@c-nfa.org