If you choose to have a family fireworks or an informal neighbourhood display this Canada Day long weekend, here are some important safety tips:

_ Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should handle and discharge fireworks.

_ Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.

_ Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.

_ Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass.

_ Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.

_ Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or relight dud fireworks. For dud fireworks, it is best to wait 30 minutes and soak them in a bucket of water. Dispose of them in a metal container.

_ Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.

_ Keep sparklers away from children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.

_ If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention, if necessary.

_ Fireworks can spook your pet! Keep them indoors in a safe place. This will help reduce the noise level of the fireworks and reduce the risk of your pet running away .

_ Use a leash or carrier if you must be outside with your pet and keep it on your pet at all times. This will help prevent your pet from running away from.

_ Make sure pet ID is current. Should your pet run off, having an updated ID tag or microchip on your pet, will help your local animal services return your pet to you.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Community Safety, Ontario SPCA.