Know the Fireworks Rules and Stay Safe This Halloween
While fireworks can add excitement to a Halloween event, the City is reminding residents they can also cause serious injury and property damage. Before planning a fireworks event in Port Coquitlam, make sure you know the regulations and safe handling procedures.
Port Coquitlam Fireworks Regulations
Port Coquitlam’s fire regulations ban the sale of fireworks within the City, but they do allow them to be set off under certain conditions, including:
- Fireworks can only be discharged on private property with owner’s consent, or at a public event with written permission from the Fire Chief.
- Fireworks are not allowed on City property, including road ways, parks, trails and sports fields.
- A Fireworks Event Permit must be obtained from the City to set off fireworks.
- The permit is only valid on Oct. 31 until 11:00 p.m.
- You must be at least age 18 to handle fireworks.
- Roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets and screechers are banned.
Anyone found to be contravening these regulations may be subject to a $750.00 fine and/or formal enforcement proceedings for each incident. The City will have increased patrols and security measures in place over the Halloween weekend.
Fireworks Event Permits cost $30 for low hazard fireworks and $250 for a high hazard fireworks. Permit applications must be made in person by Friday, Oct. 30 by 3:00 pm at the Revenue Services office at Port Coquitlam City Hall, 2580 Shaughnessy St.. City Hall is open from 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Call 604.927.5466 or email email@example.com for more information about these permits.
Safe Fireworks Handling Tips for Residents who have been issued a permit
- Only adults should discharge fireworks.
- Choose a safe area to discharge fireworks – a bare area of ground away from buildings, overhead structures, trees, vehicles, dry grass and other flammable objects.
- Have a large bucket of water, sand or a garden hose ready.
- Make sure spectators watch from a safe distance.
- Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, cars or buildings.
- Never hold fireworks in your hand while lighting them.
- Dispose of spent fireworks in a container of water.
Residents are also reminded to be considerate of pets in neighbourhoods as they can be frightened and stressed by fireworks. The BC SPCA provides tips on how to keep pets safe at spca.bc.ca/Halloween.
Halloween Safety Tips
- Purchase flame-resistant costumes. When making a costume, keep fire safety in mind.
- Avoid costumes with long trailing pieces that may easily ignite if near a candle.
- Provide a flashlight instead.
- Provide a flashlight to children as a light source or as part of a costume.
- Educate children to stay clear of open flames and other heat sources. Ensure they know how to STOP immediately, DROP to the ground and ROLL repeatedly to extinguish flames, should their costume catch fire.
- Avoid decorating with candles. Consider flameless LED tealights instead for a similar flickering effect.
- Ensure that combustible decorations such as crepe paper, cornstalks and dried flowers are kept well away from heat sources. Keep all exits clear of decorations.
- Purchase and install working smoke alarms, and practice home escape plans.
- Ensure all children in your home know the location of the exits in case of emergency.
COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
The City is also reminding residents who are celebrating Halloween, to do so safely and follow all BC Centre for Disease Control’s guidelines to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which include:
- Turn off your porch light and stay at home if you are sick or self-isolating.
- Do not visit homes if the lights are out.
- Stick to your local neighbourhood and small groups.
- Avoid large gatherings, busy areas or indoors where there is not enough space to physical distance.
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering as part of your costume.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often and before you eat treats. Avoid touching your face.
- Wear a mask and use tongs or other creative ways when handing out candy.
For more tips and guidelines visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website at www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/social-interactions/halloween.
For more information about Halloween and fireworks safety, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/fireworks.
Deputy Fire Chief
Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services