If you hear fireworks going off in your neighbourhood Halloween night, they will not be legal. Nanaimo Fire Rescue says it has not issued any permits for fireworks in advance of tonight's Halloween celebrations.
The city banned the sale, possession and use of the material without a permit in 2007. Applying for a permit is a lengthy process, costs $100, and comes with a list of conditions such as a requirement for $2 million in liability insurance and a valid fireworks supervisor ticket.
But there is good reason for the stringency, said fire captain Ennis Mond, since fireworks can cause devastating damage to buildings and people.
In contrast, the department waived fees for and expects to issue about 40 bonfire permits. Residents can still get permits for bonfires from the fire department until noon today.
Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O'Brien said police have already seized a number if fireworks devices from children in recent days, which he said is not uncommon. Police have the discretion to issue a $200 fine or warning if a person is found with illegal fireworks, he added.
The RCMP also warn parents and drivers to take special care when the street are filled with ghosts, goblins and other tiny creatures tonight. O'Brien said that three areas in particular - central Nanaimo, Rosstown Road at Coal Tyee Elementary and Parkwood Estates - tend to be inundated with rural children who are bused in by parents to trick or treat. A single home can be visited by 300 kids in an hour.
"Traffic has to be extremely careful in those areas," O'Brien said. He added that parents need to make sure their children stay within two metres of them on the street.
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