Surrey fireworks bylaw a success, says deputy fire chief

Surrey's fire department received no calls for fireworks-related fires this Halloween.

Fireworks seized by the Surrey RCMP on Halloween night.

Before Surrey created a bylaw amounting to a ban on fireworks, firefighters were inundated by calls for service every Halloween.

That’s all changed.

In 2004, Surrey firefighters were called out to 40 fires caused by fireworks on Halloween, and tallied up more than $120,000 damage that night.

The following year, Surrey implemented a new fireworks bylaw requiring people to have a federal fireworks permit to purchase, possess or let off the pyrotechnics.

This year, there were no calls for services, according to Surrey Deputy Fire Chief Jon Caviglia.

“I think the regulating of fireworks in Surrey has proven to be very effective,” Caviglia said Thursday.

He’s aware people in Surrey just go to other municipalities to buy their fireworks.

“It’s on a much smaller scale,” Caviglia said. “They still do get them from other cities, and there are parents that allow their kids to have them, but it’s not rampant like it used to be.”

Much of the fireworks that made its way to the city was seized by Surrey Mounties.

Thousands of fireworks are on their way to Vancouver’s Explosives Disposal Unit where they will be destroyed, police say.

@diakiw