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Selling consumer fireworks

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

The following guidance is for any retailer or distributor selling fireworks. For situations not covered here, including exemptions and conditions, consult the Explosives Regulations.

Selling consumer fireworks

Customers must be 18 or older to buy and use fireworks. Younger people are allowed to buy and use toy pistol caps.

Consumer fireworks are powerful pyrotechnic devices and, for this reason, both their sale and purchase are covered by Canada’s laws for safe and secure use of fireworks. The Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada tests fireworks and approves those that are safe. Make sure you are selling fireworks authorized by the Government of Canada. You can check the list of authorized explosives.

You are not allowed to sell 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 that 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) handling these products. See a list of prohibited fireworks.

Explosives licence

If you are a distributor who sells consumer fireworks to retailers, you must have an explosives licence.

Storing consumer fireworks for sale

You are permitted to store up to 1000 kilograms of consumer fireworks in a sales establishment at any time, including those that are displayed for sale. If the sales establishment is in a building that contains a dwelling (such as a house or apartment), you are permitted to store up to 100 kilograms at any time, including those that are displayed for sale.

Consumer fireworks intended for sale must not be stored in a dwelling.

You must store consumer fireworks that are not displayed for sale in a storage unit that meets requirements and is outside of any dwelling. Learn about storing consumer fireworks in a storage unit.

You may store more than 1000 kilograms of consumer fireworks for sale if you hold an explosives licence. Apply for an explosives licence through the electronic Licence Management System (eLMS).

Displaying consumer fireworks for sale

If fireworks are in consumer packs or in packaging or containers that comply with the containment safety standards under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, you must separate them into lots or groups of 100 kilograms or less. Learn more about consumer packs.

Otherwise, you must separate all other fireworks into lots or groups of 25 kilograms or less. Separate each lot from the others using a fire break such as plywood or sheet steel that will slow the rate of burning in the event of a fire.

Keep fireworks away from flammable substances and sources of ignition. Do not expose fireworks to heat or dampness. Keep fireworks at least 0.6 metres (60 centimetres) from the ceiling and from any fire prevention system. Smoking must be prohibited within 8 metres of the fireworks.

Only people you have authorized must have access to the area behind the sale counter. You must constantly monitor fireworks when the sales establishment is unlocked.

The above rules do not apply to sparklers and toy pistol caps.

Contact us

Explosives Regulatory Division
National Headquarters
588 Booth Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa ON  K1A 0Y7
Tel.: 1-855-912-0012
Email: ERDmms@nrcan.gc.ca

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