The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows fire departments are reminding residents that fireworks are not permitted in the lead up to New Year’s Eve.
“We would like to remind you that the sales and explosion of fireworks and fire crackers are prohibited in The City of Maple Ridge without a valid permit, like most communities in Metro Vancouver,” read a post from the city online.
This includes the sale, purchase, or use of fireworks.
RCMP, the fire department, and bylaws will be out in the community enforcing the rules, the city warned, and fines are not cheap – they range from $500 to $1,000, depending on the violation to the city’s fireworks bylaws.
A similar warning went out at Halloween. At the time fire chief Michael Van Dop noted that in 2013 two homes were destroyed after a group of teens exploded fireworks in the the backyard of one of those homes.
Pitt Meadows deputy fire chief David Biggin noted fireworks have been banned in the City of Pitt Meadows for more than 10 years.
“It’s any time of year. Whether it’s Christmas or celebrating a birth or anything, or New Year’s, you are not allowed to discharge or sell fireworks within Pitt Meadows,” he said.
There is a fireworks bylaw and a fine structure, he noted, and the fire department does have the ability to fine and enforce the bylaws.
“As much as everybody enjoys them, they should be left up to professionals and people who are licensed to discharge them. They are dangerous. The amount of personal injury and the amount of property damage is consistent year over year related to fireworks,” added Biggin.
In addition, to the risk of personal injury or fire, the city also noted the random explosion of fireworks also impacts neighbours, pets, and wildlife.
The BC SPCA warned that fireworks can encourage aggressive behaviour in dogs and be the source of immense trauma for the animals.
For pet owners, the animal welfare agency recommends bringing pets inside when there are fireworks and to ensure they always have identification like a collar ID tag and a microchip.
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