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Kitchener bylaw says 'proactive enforcement' helped number of fireworks complaints

Fireworks, firecrackers

The City of Kitchener received 54 fireworks-related complaints over the Victoria Day long weekend which is about the same amount they received last year, during the same period.

According to Kitchener bylaw enforcement, there were 54 reports in total this year but two were cancelled. In 2023, they also responded to 54 complaints.

Residents are only allowed to set off fireworks on Victoria Day which was on Monday. The city said the most common type of complaints this year were people setting them off on a non-permitted day in areas like a park or school yard.

The director of bylaw enforcement with the city, Gloria MacNeil, said this year they took a different approach, running stats on where they had high numbers in previous years, and strategically placed officers in the those areas ahead of time.

“That was a great success,” MacNeil said. “We interacted with over 550 residents – just educating them on firework safety and providing them with some pamphlets that we had made up explaining the regulations.”

As a result of those visits, 13 charges were laid.

“Part of that was because we had staff out proactively looking, whereas I think in previous years our challenge was always that by the time a complaint came in and we got across town, the fireworks were done. So I think with strategically placing people in some of those higher volume areas, we were able to catch them while they were actually happening.”

Fireworks are also only permitted on privately owned property, as long as you can meet the setback requirement which is at least 25 feet from any structure or object or building. Fireworks cannot be set off in any park, school yard or any other publicly or other privately owned property. Top Stories

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