Fireworks may be a safety and fire hazard, but council recognized on Tuesday that they’re too much fun for the City to rain on public pyrotechnics with over-regulation.
A consensus emerged around a council workshop that the City should adopt new rules for fireworks regulation but not clamp down on permitted use for two weeks of the year.
After tossing around four options outlined by fire prevention officer Dean Olstad, a majority of councillors favoured moderate measures.
New rules — which will not apply to this Halloween — would impose a $20 permit fee and limit the permit application period to three days in advance of the allowable discharge periods of Oct. 24-Nov. 1 and Dec. 25-Jan.1.
Coun. Tina Lange questioned the need to bring in stricter rules. Police responded to 32 mostly nuisance calls related to fireworks last October. Over the past five years, the cost of damages from pyrotechnics has amounted to $60,000, far lower than those that might be attributed to smoking or candles, she noted.
“I’m not a fan of more red tape, particularly for something that’s supposed to be fun,” Lange said.
Others felt a need to take a more preventive approach.
One option proposed restricting fireworks use only to certified people. Certification costs $150 and must be renewed every five years for another $100. Another option would restrict discharge to City-approved sites only.
Most councillors preferred a compromise in a third option, which would also allow online permit applications.
Permit holders would be able to use City parks but only if they’re certified. Kamloops Fire and Rescue would provide a list of public sites around the city to encourage safe discharge.