Fireworks permits are now available in Erin

ERIN – People who want to discharge fireworks in Erin may now have to obtain a municipal permit.

The town has had a fee of $107 for a fireworks permit in its fee bylaw, but until now has not had actual guidelines or permits available.

Fire chief Jim Sawkins has corrected that situation with a new bylaw that was approved by council on Dec. 17.

“It’s not a matter of getting people’s money,” said Sawkins.

He stressed the need for safety guidelines for the sale and use of fireworks.

Consumers will still be able to discharge fireworks without a permit on traditional designated days: Victoria Day, Canada Day and New Year’s Eve.

In the event of weather delays, there is a grace period of up to seven days.

Larger public or commercial displays on designated days, or private displays on non-designated days, will require a permit.

Permit holders must agree to a list of conditions, including insurance and the training of the technician.

While violations could result in a fine of up to $5,000 under the Provincial Offences Act, Sawkins said he plans to stress education instead of fines in the first year.

If firefighters have to respond to a fire resulting from fireworks, the host of the show could still be on the hook for cost recovery charges.

People are only allowed to buy or discharge firecrackers with federal approval,  and only for cultural events.