Fireworks are allowed in Saanich, but only on Halloween night and only if the person setting them off has taken the certification course through the Saanich Fire Department.
“We know it’s fun and a tradition,” said firefighter Lt. Insp. Sean Lillis. He explained that the fireworks safety courses are open to residents over 18. Following the successful completion of the course, a permit will be issued for $10. Payment can only be made with cash or a cheque.
The fireworks safety course must be taken every three years, meaning that residents last certified in 2016 must register for another course if they’re planning on setting off a fireworks display for Halloween 2019.
For those looking to get certified in time for Halloween, there are sessions Oct. 23 and Oct. 27. Each hour-long session begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Kirby Room in the Fire Public Safety Building at 760 Vernon Ave.
A resident 18 or older with a permit will be allowed to set off consumer fireworks from 5 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 31 and must use all safety precautions. The fireworks must be lit in a safe, outdoor area away from structures, trees and anything flammable, spectators must be at least 20 feet away, fireworks should be lit with a stick not a match, water or sand must be on hand and the “duds” must be left alone for 30 minutes.
Failure to follow guidelines or possession of prohibited fireworks – pyrotechnic special effects fireworks or display fireworks – can result in the confiscation of the permit and fireworks and a fine between $100 and $500. There is also a ban on selling or purchasing fireworks in the District of Saanich.
The fire department will give the Saanich Police Department and 911 call takers a list of residents that are allowed to set off fireworks on Halloween night in case complaints are made.
Folks interested in the safety course must pre-register by calling the Fire Prevention Division at 250-475-5500 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their full name, phone number and the number of the course they want to take. An application information form is available online.