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Buying and using consumer fireworks safely and legally

Planning to use fireworks this summer? Always check first with your municipality for any fire bans. Fireworks produce sparks that could cause a fire during hot and dry weather and may be included in the fire ban.

Consumer fireworks are designed for outdoor recreational use by members of the public. Consumer fireworks include Roman candles, fountains, wheels, volcanoes, and mines. (Consumer fireworks are classified under the Explosives Regulations as Type F.1.)

Novelty devices such as sparklers and toy pistol produce limited visible or audible effects and contain small amounts of pyrotechnic composition. Please ensure to follow all safety instructions when using novelty devices. (Novelty Devices are classified under the Explosives Regulations as Type F.5.)

The following guidance is for anyone buying and using consumer fireworks. For situations not covered here, including exemptions and conditions, consult the Explosives Regulations.

Using consumer fireworks

Consumer fireworks are powerful pyrotechnic devices and, for this reason, you must follow Canada’s laws for safe and secure use of fireworks. Be sure to know the laws, know your space and read all instructions.



Canadians enjoy fireworks to highlight special occasions such as national holidays or to mark the beginning of a new year. For a safe and memorable experience, it is important to follow laws and simple safety guidelines. The Government of Canada has set high standards and does extensive testing to ensure only quality fireworks are available.

The three things you should always know before buying, storing or using consumer fireworks are: Know the laws, know your space, and read all instructions. Everyone can enjoy consumer fireworks displays, but fireworks must only be used by adults. You must be at least 18 years old to buy, store, and use consumer fireworks. The federal government has created laws governing fireworks that apply throughout the country. Additionally, many provinces, cities, and municipalities have set their own restrictions on when and where fireworks may be enjoyed. It is important that you read and respect your local laws.

Be responsible when transporting fireworks to ensure they are not damaged. At home, make sure they are stored in a secure manner, inaccessible to curious children; and at a safe distance from flammable substances. Only use fireworks outside. Know the location of use and its limitations before buying your fireworks. Choose a clear, open area away from buildings and vehicles. Refer to the safety instructions on the fireworks label for minimum stand-off distances for you and spectators. Make sure you look up and ensure there are no overhead obstructions in range of your fireworks. Know how your fireworks will act and work in your space and read all the instructions before you start the show. Once they are lit they can't be turned off! Take your time and follow the set-up instructions for each firework which are found on its label. Ensure to set up your fireworks securely on firm ground. Always have a charged hose or a bucket of water close by. Always supervise children around sparklers. Many people consider sparklers to be "child safe" but they burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing or cause injury. Before starting your show, ensure that the wind is blowing away from any spectators. Make sure any nearby brush and grass are not dry or easily ignited by stray sparks.

Remember - know the laws of your area; read the instructions on the fireworks packaging; and set up your space to maximize safety. Oh, and after the show is over, dispose of fireworks packaging in a safe manner. Ensure there are no smoldering remnants that could cause a fire. Enjoy the show.



Follow the simple safety procedures outlined below to ensure a fun and safe fireworks display. Many provinces or territories, cities and municipalities have their own restrictions on when and where fireworks may be enjoyed. It is important that you read and respect your local laws.



Read all instructions on the fireworks. Plan the order of firing before you begin.


Never try to light a firework while holding it, and never pick up or hold a lit firework unless the manufacturer’s instructions indicate that they can be hand-held.


Before setting up your display, keep fireworks in a cool, dry, ventilated place, out of the reach of children.


Do not fire in windy conditions.


Choose a wide, clear site away from all obstacles. Refer to the safety instructions on the fireworks labels for minimum distances from spectators.


Light carefully: Always light the fuse at its tip.


Use a good firing base such as a pail filled with earth or sand.


Wait at least 30 minutes before approaching a firework that did not go off. Never try to relight a firework that did not go off. Never try to fix a firework that is defective. Return any defective fireworks to the place of purchase.


Bury fireworks that do not have a base halfway in a container of earth or sand (such as a pail, box or wheelbarrow) unless the labels on the fireworks indicate otherwise. Set them at a 10-degree angle, pointing away from people.


An adult must supervise people under 18 years old when using or in the vicinity of fireworks.


Keep water nearby. Soak used fireworks (including debris) in a pail of water and then dispose of them in your household garbage.


Safety glasses are recommended.

The Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada tests fireworks and approves those that are safe.

To bring consumer fireworks across the Canada–US border, you must have an import permit. You must also ensure that fireworks crossing the border into Canada are authorized in Canada. Many fireworks sold in the US are not. Fireworks crossing the border must meet Canada’s requirements for packaging and bilingual labelling. Members of the public would have difficulty meeting the requirements to bring fireworks into Canada from the US.

Buying consumer fireworks

You are permitted to buy and use fireworks if you are 18 or older. Always purchase your fireworks from a reputable retailer who sells products that meet Canada’s safety rules and standards.

Younger people are permitted to use fireworks if they are supervised by an adult. Younger people are allowed to use sparklers and toy pistol caps without supervision.

You are not allowed to buy or use firework novelty items such as sprite bombs, party snaps and other similar types in Canada. These products are often marketed as novelty items, but they do contain a small amount of explosive material which is activated by either throwing the products to the ground or by stepping on them. There have been many serious injuries to people (mainly children) handing these products.

Storing consumer fireworks


You are permitted to own and store up to 10 kilograms of consumer fireworks in a dwelling (such as a house or apartment). You do not need a licence for this amount.

You must store the consumer fireworks away from flammable substances and sources of ignition and protect them from theft. You must ensure that they can only be accessed by people you have authorized.

Storage unit

You are permitted to store up to 1000 kilograms of consumer fireworks in a storage unit that meets requirements and is outside of any dwelling.

  • The storage unit must be located away from flammable substances and sources of ignition;
  • the interior of the storage unit must be kept clean and dry;
  • the storage unit must be constructed and maintained to prevent unauthorized access and to protect the contents from weather;
  • the storage unit must be attended when unlocked;
  • if the storage unit is a container, it must not impede exit in case of fire;
  • if the storage unit is not a container, all exits must be kept unobstructed;
  • precautions that minimize the likelihood of an ignition or fire in or near the storage unit must be taken; and
  • a sign that displays the words “Danger — Fire Hazard/Risque d’incendie” in letters at least 10 cm high and that prohibits smoking using letters, or a symbol, at least 10 cm high must be posted on the storage unit in a clearly visible location.

To store more than 1,000 kilograms of consumer fireworks, you need an explosives licence. Apply for an explosives licence through the electronic Licence Management System (eLMS)

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