Surrey bylaw officers pose as firework buyers to bust sellers

SURREY — Just days before Halloween, the City of Surrey seized roughly $13,000 in illegal fireworks and firecrackers, and issued more than $6,000 in fines.

During the spooky season, first responders see a spike in the number of fireworks-related injuries and structure fires. In 2004, there were 40 related fires, but since then the fireworks bylaw has brought that down to an average of three a year, the city says.

Selling fireworks is prohibited in Surrey, but the city says some vendors have resorted to “travelling” sales, using social media to connect with clients. Bylaw officers pose as clients online, and issue a fine when they connect with the seller, issuing fines of up to $750. When appropriate, the Surrey RCMP can also issue a ticket under the Explosives Act.

Fireworks in the city can only be discharged with a fire department permit and a federal fireworks supervisor certificate.

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