Personal fireworks displays hardly worth the hassle in Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Personal fireworks displays hardly worth the hassle in Penticton

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
December 18, 2019 - 1:30 PM

Thinking of setting off some fireworks in Penticton on New Year's Eve? It can be done but it’s not going to be cheap and you may find the application more trouble than it’s worth.

Penticton deputy fire chief Chris Forster said the City will issue residents a fireworks permit but generally the fire department would prefer to issue permits only to fireworks professionals.

The fire department charges $50 for a low risk permit and $250 for a high risk permit. The risk assessment is based on the type of fireworks being used.

Forster said they determine the risk level based on a UN code label on the firework.

“The UN codes are determined by the federal government. It’s surprising which fireworks are considered high risk,” he said. “We will issue a permit for a low risk use, but as a rule most fireworks are banned."

Permits are issued to individuals under strict guidelines and on a one time basis but for 90 per cent of the population the answer would likely be no, he said.

“Municipalities don’t allow them because they are an inherent danger, but we have put in the program, and if you are willing to meet very strict guidelines, we will sometimes allow a low risk permit.”

The permits are generally issued in the case of a one-off celebration, such as a wedding, and only if it is held on a large property such as an acreage or winery.

Forster said there are lots of rules to keep people safe.

“Accidents happen, that’s why most municipalities have banned them. We could enforce much stricter regulations but we’ve tried to allow their use for special events on a one-time basis.”

Those wishing to apply for a fireworks permit should call the Penticton Fire Department at 250-490-2300 to begin the application process.

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