At a park in Newton Tuesday afternoon, a firework, similar to an Air Bomb, is taped to a small piece of plywood shaped like a human hand.
Once detonated, not much remains – just splinters of fractured wood, illustrating how much damage could be done to a real hand.
The demonstration at Joe Brown Park was part of a Halloween safety reminder from the Surrey RCMP’s explosive disposal unit about the dangers of improper handling of fireworks. Police also want to remind residents that fireworks and firecrackers are banned in the city unless you have a permit.
This Halloween, Surrey RCMP, the City of Surrey bylaws department and Fraser Health are warning people to stay safe – especially when out trick-or-treating and when handling fireworks.
“The majority of fireworks injuries are burns and cuts and lacerations,” said Surrey Memorial Hospital ER physician Dr. Craig Murray. “Injuries to the hands are very common, but highly avoidable.”
In fact, he said, sparklers – with their red hot tips – are the number-one cause of burns.
In recent days Surrey bylaw enforcement has been targeting the illegal sale of fireworks using various means, including online classified sites and social media, and have so far seized $15,000 worth of products as well as issuing $3,000 in fines.
The public cannot possess, sell or light off any fireworks without a permit, said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann.
Permits can be obtained by visiting www.surrey.ca, but the application deadline has already passed, so if you don’t have a permit by now, fireworks are off-limits this year.
Violation fines range anywhere from $250 to $500.
To ensure a fun Halloween night for families and trick-or-treaters it is recommended that kids wear bright clothing, carry a flashlight and always use marked crosswalks.
The RCMP are also reminding all residents that if they need to contact the police regarding any mis-use of fireworks to please use the non-emergency line at 604-599-0502.
Delta Police add extra patrols
As Halloween falls on Saturday this year, Delta Police are anticipating a busy weekend with more calls for service than is typical, especially on Halloween night.
In Delta, fireworks are also not permitted unless you are over 19 years old and hold a valid fireworks permit, available from the Delta Fire Department at the cost of $200.
However, the permits must be obtained at least 10 days prior to Halloween.
Contravention of the bylaw can result in fines of $250.
The non-emergency number for Delta Police is 604-946-4411.