Put an eye out or blow a finger off… legally!

It’s Halloween season, and that means many things to many people. Chills, both figurative and literal, candy, costumes, a sense of fun and abandon not found in most other holidays (particularly not one with no day off), and a particular favorite of mine, fireworks.

I’ve mentioned before, I spent a lot of time in Calgary and Halloween is often cold, involves three times as much walking to get half the candy, and fireworks are a no-no – by Fall, the grassy hills in and around the city are pretty much tinder, and fireworks just create headaches for firefighters and nightmares for home owners, so the town is pretty stern on the matter. In fact, these dry conditions have interfered with Canada Day fireworks on occasion, if you can imagine that.

But Vancouver doesn’t have that problem, presumably due to it’s damp nature. But, in the decade I’ve lived here, I’ve see the popularity of fireworks increase, and it was pretty much a given that sooner or later some lug-nut with a roman candle and an unwilling target was going to alter the game. And while I can’t confirm the existance of lug-nut or target, the game has been tweaked. As of this year the rules on who can buy fireworks has been tightened, requiring buyers to be over 19, have two pieces of ID, and a permit, which you obtain for free by taking an online test. Firework sellers in turn, have to make sure you meet these criteria before selling to you.

This is a minor change, but the major change, one which I’m curious to see it’s effect on the availability of fireworks, is that you can only buy during the seven day period between Saturday, October 25th and Halloween. Given that fireworks dealers in town sold, in some cases, as early as a month before Halloween, this may affect the number of people choosing to act as dealers. I also assume this is why I’ve yet to hear the typical, pre-Halloween, late night pops and bangs of secret launches.

OK, I actually just stopped right now to take the test and it’s a token step – a dozen questions with pretty apparent answers;

Q: To find out more information about firework safety, you should…

1) Read Vancouver bylaw XYZ.
2) Travel to the South American factory where they were made.
3) Eat pie in front of the TV.

So, everybody in compliance now? Everybody submitted to the city the address where they intent to launch the fireworks from? (Yes, the application actually asks you that.) Everybody ready for some Halloween fun!?

Well then, I’m Chris, an Android – I can put my arm back on, but you can’t, so play safe!

[NOTE] Other cities in the GVA have different rules, so read up. West Van has similar rules and selling period, but the permit costs $5. Burnaby appears to have the same selling period, but no permit. It’s not clear if someone from Burnaby would need to obtain fireworks from a vendor in Vancouver or West Vancouver, or if a Vancouver permit will allow you to by from a Burnaby vendor. Given that these steps seem designed mostly to make sure we’ve all read the rules, I’m sure I’m over thinking it. But I’ll get back to you all if I find out more (or, if you know more, post here.)

4 Comments so far

  1. Jeffery Simpson (van_jeffery) on October 22nd, 2008 @ 3:46 pm

    I miss having to drive across the Okanagan Lake Bridge to buy our illicit fireworks on the Westbank First Nations’ land where there were no laws about blowing things up.

  2. arthurq on October 26th, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

    "South american factory"? I wish. the only fireworks you can legally buy are made in quebec. Quelle Surprise. I made you guys an an honest to allah authorization form if you wanna buy vancouver fireworks. It is brought to you by the people who care about you.

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  4. www porche design com (unregistered) on November 5th, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

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