As Halloween approaches, the City of Courtenay and the Courtenay Fire Department are reminding residents that fireworks are restricted within city limits.
Fireworks can cause property damage, serious burns, and injuries including eye and hand trauma – increasing demands on health care, emergency services, and other first responders. They are also traumatic for wildlife and domestic pets.
Anyone selling or discharging fireworks in violation of Courtenay’s bylaws could be subject to fines.
Other fire safety tips for a fun and safe Halloween:
•Use flashlights, glow sticks, and battery-operated candles instead of decorating with candles.
•Keep combustible decorations made of paper or dried leaves and flowers well away from sources of heat, and keep all exits clear.
•Choose Halloween costumes, wigs and accessories that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant. Avoid costumes with long trailing pieces that could ignite. If making a child’s costume for children, always keep fire safety in mind.
•Teach children to stay clear of open flames and other heat sources, and ensure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch on fire.
For those residing outside the City of Courtenay, but within one of Courtenay’s Fire Protection Districts, fireworks are regulated by the Comox Valley Regional District.
The CVRD requires permits prior to setting off fireworks for properties within Electoral Areas A, B or C. Fireworks in the rural areas are only allowed to be set off on property you own or with the owner’s permission. The sale of fireworks in the CVRD will occur from Oct. 24 until Nov. 1, and must be from a commercially zoned retailer operating under the current fire regulations within the region. If you live within the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay or the Village of Cumberland, contact your municipality for fireworks regulations and permit requirements.
Permits are available online or at the CVRD office at 770 Harmston Ave. in Courtenay for $10. Applicants must be 18 years and older. Once a permit is approved, applicants will be authorized to set off fireworks.
“This Halloween get your fireworks permit first,” says Amanda Yasinski, Manager of Bylaw Compliance. “Failure to have a permit is a $500 fine. It is also important to please respect your neighbours by letting them know ahead of time if you will be setting off fireworks and ensure you follow all Ministry of Health event restrictions.”