OTTAWA -- Ottawa police and Bylaw Services officers will be monitoring parks and neighbourhoods over Canada Day to stop people from illegally discharging fireworks during the holiday.

The increased surveillance comes after several complaints and fires linked to fireworks during the Victoria Day long weekend in May. Ottawa Bylaw received 130 calls for unauthorized discharge of fireworks during the holiday, while fireworks were linked to eight fires in Ottawa.

The city of Ottawa says fireworks are only permitted to be discharged on June 30, Canada Day and July 2. The city says fireworks displays must be directly supervised by someone 18 and older and must take place on private property.

"As always, Bylaw and Regulatory Services and Ottawa police will monitor for compliance," said Anthony Di Monte, Ottawa's general manager of emergency and protective services. "Park ambassadors will also be deployed in some parks to provide information to residents."

It's illegal to discharge fireworks in city of Ottawa parks, sports fields and beaches, and fireworks are prohibited on school properties.

The Ottawa Fire Services does not recommend holding personal fireworks displays. If you are going to hold a fireworks display, Ottawa fire offers the following safety tips:

  • Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should handle and discharge fireworks.
  • Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.
  • Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.
  • Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass.
  • Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.
  • Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground.
  • Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.
  • Keep sparklers away from children.