Fireworks primer for Tri-Cities

Sales not allowed in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam but can be set off with special permits

Halloween can be a blast, especially if fireworks are involved.

All three Tri-City municipalities, however, have rules and regulations to make sure they’re set off safely.

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To begin with, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam prohibit the sale of fireworks within the city. Fines for selling them in Coquitlam range from $250 to $1,000. Firecrackers are also illegal in Coquitlam.

Setting fireworks off in Coquitlam, though, is allowed with a permit from the fire department, and that’s generally issued only for large public displays by trained individuals. 

The person responsible has to be at least 19 years old, have written permission from the property owner, provide plans to keep spectators at a safe distance with public and private property protected and proper fire extinguishing equipment available. Permits can be obtained online at coquitlam.ca/fireworks and must be submitted at least 72 hours before the event if it’s on private property and 15 days prior if it’s in a city park.

PoCo allows fireworks to be set off with a permit that is only valid for Oct. 31 until 11 p.m. In addition, anyone handling the fireworks must be at least 18 years old and the fireworks have to be discharged on private property with the owner’s consent and with the fire department’s authorization. To do it as a public event requires written permission from the fire chief. Roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets and screechers are banned. Contravening the regulations could mean a $500 fine.

Fireworks event permits cost $30 and application for them must be made in person at the city hall tax office by 3p.m. on Oct. 31. For more information, call 604-927-5466 or email fire@portcoquitlam.ca. 

Fireworks sales are permitted in Port Moody but only with a licence. Permits to discharge them aren’t required but there are restrictions. Fireworks can only be set off on Oct. 31 and must be done on private property with the occupant’s knowledge and consent. Public events do require written permission from the fire chief. Like PoCo, Port Moody prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from possessing fireworks and it is unlawful to set off firecrackers.

Fireworks safety tips are available on the websites of all three cities (coquitlam.ca/fireworks, portcoquitlam.ca/fire, portmoody.ca).

Coquitlam also warns fireworks and costumes can be terrifying for pets. The city’s animal shelter suggests residents keep pets inside and even in a separate room with a radio or television on to mask the sound of fireworks and trick-or-treaters. Other tips include disconnecting the doorbell, not taking pets trick-or-treating and avoid feeding them candy because it’s unhealthy for them.

Other safety tips from Coquitlam include advising against decorations with candles, tea lights or torch lights with the suggestion of using battery-operated LED lights or glow sticks instead; keeping decorations away from heat sources; and buying flame resistant Halloween costumes.

As for the family jack-o-lantern, put pumpkins into the green cart for composting, with the candles, wax and other accessories removed of course. Painted pumpkins, however, cannot be composted and must be put in the garbage cart.

ggranger@tricitynews.com

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