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Follow Newmarket, Aurora rules for fireworks this long weekend

Fines for improper use of fireworks start at $600; Central York Fire Services provides tips on where, when and how to celebrate Victoria Day weekend
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On the first long weekend of summer, Central York Fire Services is reminding residents to be safe with the use, handling and disposal of fireworks and be mindful of neighbours — especially pets — when celebrating.

In Newmarket and Aurora, fireworks are only permitted for sale and use during Victoria Day and Canada Day weekends, according to a CYFS news release.

Fireworks are not allowed on public property, including parks, streets and open fields/spaces in Newmarket and Aurora.

Fines for improper use of fireworks in Newmarket start at $600 in accordance with Fireworks Bylaw 2015-18. Fines for improper use of fireworks in Aurora start at $600 in accordance with Fireworks Bylaw 5373-11.

Residents can report bylaw infractions, such as the use of fireworks, by calling:

  • Town of Newmarket: 905-895-5193 (press 3 for after-hours line)
  • Town of Aurora: 905-727-3123 and follow the prompts for after-hours bylaw service.

Before you set off fireworks, go through this checklist of rules and safety advice:

Rules and regulations when using fireworks

  • Property limits: You are only permitted to use fireworks on your own property and only if the front of your property is a minimum of 18 metres (59 feet) wide. If you are renting, you must have written permission from the homeowner to use fireworks.
  • Date: Fireworks are only permitted on specific dates per town (Newmarket residents: May 19, 20, 21; Aurora residents: May 19 and 20
  • Time: Only use fireworks between dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.) and 11 p.m.
  • User: You must be 18 years of age or older to discharge fireworks.

Tips for safe use

  • Buy from a reliable source: Steer clear of illegal explosives and never make your own. Only sparkler fireworks, fountain fireworks, roman candles and pinwheel fireworks are allowable for general consumer sale and use.
  • Handle with caution: Fireworks must be handled by an adult. Carefully read and follow directions on the label of fireworks packaging.
  • Prepare the space: Only use fireworks outside and have a water source handy and ready to use (buckets of water or garden hose turned on). Be aware and cautious of surrounding dry vegetation, which can be flammable.
  • Igniting fireworks: Keep children far away from the discharge site.
  • Always aim the fireworks away from people and buildings.
  • Never hold the fireworks in your hand when lighting or discharging.
  • Do not smoke while handling or near fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time. Never set off fireworks during strong winds.
  • Never re-light a dud firework. Wait 15 to 20 minutes; then soak the dud in a bucket of water.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Wear eye protection and never have any part of their body over the firework.

Cleanup and disposal: Pick up debris when finished and check for embers or smouldering materials. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper disposal of fireworks.

Remember to be considerate of your neighbours and pets when using fireworks.

Animal services at the Town of Aurora and Town of Newmarket offers proactive tips for dog owners:

  • Avoid letting your dog outdoors at times when fireworks are likely to go off.
  • Create a ‘safe place’ inside your home for your dog to hide from fireworks, such as a crate or bedroom.
  • Make sure windows and doors are closed and draw the curtains or cover the windows to minimize the lights from the fireworks.
  • Make sure that your dogs are microchipped and that their microchip details are up to date (in the event they get out).

Residents travelling out of town to the cottage or trailer are encouraged to check the local bylaws for fireworks and outdoor burning, along with burn bans, to ensure they follow the rules of the area.

Whether you’re cooking inside, grilling on the barbecue or hosting a campfire, remember, whenever there is a flame, always have a water source on hand and ready for action. However, never pour water onto a grease fire. If the fire cannot be suppressed, alert others, evacuate and then call 911 from a safe location.

For more information, safety tips and links to town bylaws, visit