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No more fireworks on Vancouverites' lawns 0

By Tyler Orton, 24 Hours Vancouver

Vancouver voted in favour of a pursuing a new bylaw that will ban consumer fireworks from private property while expanding their use beyond just Halloween. The combustibles will also be permitted on other culturally significant days like New Year's Eve and Diwali, but people must light them off in designated public spaces. (SUBMITTED)

Vancouver voted in favour of a pursuing a new bylaw that will ban consumer fireworks from private property while expanding their use beyond just Halloween. The combustibles will also be permitted on other culturally significant days like New Year's Eve and Diwali, but people must light them off in designated public spaces. (SUBMITTED)

The screeching sounds and rainbow lights of consumer fireworks are set to fill Vancouver’s skies five times a year — not just on Halloween — after city council voted Tuesday in favour of expanding the use of the pyrotechnics.

Vancouver fire chief John McKearney, who spoke before council, said council’s desire to permit fireworks on culturally significant holidays like Diwali and Lunar New Year could work if the combustibles were banned from people’s yards.

Instead, the fire department would issue permits and people would only be allowed to light the displays in designated public spaces under the supervision of police, firefighters or park board staff.

McKearney said placing restrictions on where the fireworks are ignited would reduce the cost of damage they cause and save the city money when it comes to enforcement.

The Vancouver Police Department responds to an average of 309 calls each Halloween, while unsafe use of the light displays has resulted in $1.3 million in damage to property during the last five years, according to McKearney.

The council motion calls for the fire chief to finish his research into fireworks expansion, nail down the locations the combustibles could be ignited, and consult with the Vancouver Park Board.

The five culturally significant days also include New Year’s Eve and Vaisakhi, but McKearney said he didn’t recommend the use of consumer fireworks on Canada Day since the dry July weather could pose a hazard.

Feedback:

How do you feel about the restrictions on where residents can use fireworks? And do you think it's a good idea council wants to expand their use to holidays other than just Halloween?

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