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.
Display fireworks are high-hazard fireworks designed for use by professionals. These include larger items such as aerial shells, cakes, barrages, waterfalls, lances, set pieces and wheels. (Classified under the Explosives Regulations as Type F.2).
Fireworks accessories are explosive articles used to initiate fireworks. (Classified under the Explosives Regulations as Type F.4). Display fireworks and fireworks accessories must be stored separately.
The following guidance is for anyone involved in fireworks. For situations not covered here, including exemptions and conditions, as well as firecrackers, consult the Explosives Regulations.
Buying and using display fireworks
You are permitted to buy and use display fireworks if you have a fireworks operator certificate. You do not require a licence.
Consult the Display Fireworks Manual for more information on using these fireworks.
However, if you are planning to use firecrackers, you must apply for a specific certificate for this type of fireworks.
Storing display fireworks
Storage requirements for users
You must not store display fireworks in a dwelling (such as a house or apartment).
If you are certified as a display supervisor, you are permitted to store up to 100 kilograms net quantity (the mass of the fireworks excluding the mass of any packaging or container) of display fireworks and up to 500 electric matches in a storage unit. Some local authorities may have more restrictive rules—check with your local authorities. The following requirements must be met:
- The storage unit must be in a dry place, away from flammable substances and sources of ignition.
- The storage unit must prevent unauthorized access and protect the contents from weather.
- If the storage unit is a container, it must not block any exit in case of fire.
- If the storage unit is not a container, all exits must be kept clear.
- Any shelving in the storage unit must be made from a non-sparking material (for example, wood or painted metal).
- Only fireworks, pyrotechnics and pyrotechnics accessories may be stored in the storage unit.
- Electric matches must be stored separately from other explosives (for example, on different shelves or separated by a wooden partition).
- The storage unit must be monitored when it is unlocked.
- The storage unit must be kept clean, dry, organized and free of grit.
- Any spill, leakage or other contamination must be cleaned up immediately.
- You must take steps to minimize the risk of fire in or near the storage unit.
- You must post a sign that displays the words “Danger — Fire Hazard/Risque d’incendie” in letters at least 10 centimetres high on the storage unit in a clearly visible location. The sign must also communicate the message that smoking is prohibited in letters or with a symbol of at least 10 centimetres high.
You are permitted to store more than 100 kilograms net quantity (the mass of the fireworks excluding the mass of any packaging or container) of display fireworks and more than 500 electric matches if you hold an explosives licence.
Storage requirements for sellers
You are permitted to store and sell display fireworks if you hold a licence for a vendor magazine or a factory. The fireworks must be stored in the magazine specified in your licence. Display fireworks must not be stored in a dwelling or a storage unit.
You may also consult the following guidelines for storing display fireworks in a licensed magazine:
- Guidelines for Storage of Non-Industrial Explosives (PDF, 614 KB)
- Guidelines for Storage Compatibility of Explosives (Type F.2) (PDF, 196 KB)
Selling display fireworks
You are permitted to store and sell display fireworks if you hold a licence for a vendor magazine or a factory. Display fireworks may not be displayed for sale.
For buyers who hold an explosives licence, you must not sell more fireworks than the buyer is authorized to store according to their licence.
If the buyer does not hold an explosives licence, you are permitted to sell them the maximum quantity they are authorized to store under the Explosives Regulations: for a Display Supervisor, a maximum of 500 electric matches and 100 kilograms of other fireworks, to be stored in a storage unit.
Record of sale
You must keep a record of every sale of fireworks. The record must be kept for 2 years after the sale. The record must include:
- the buyer’s name and address
- in the case of a sale to a licensed buyer, the number and expiry date of their licence
- in the case of a sale to the holder of a fireworks operator certificate, the number and expiry date of the certificate and a copy of a local authority’s approval to hold the fireworks display in which the fireworks will be used
- the type and product name of each firework sold and the name of the person who obtained its authorization
- the quantity of fireworks sold under each product name
- the date of the sale
Explosives Regulatory Division
588 Booth Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0Y7
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