A fireworks show in Parksville on Canada Day 2017. - Adam Kveton Photo

Fireworks sold year-round at Coombs business

Store owner says Halloween is the busiest time of year to firework sales

Debate routinely ensues when it comes to whether or not fireworks should be set off during holidays and celebrations.

The NEWS recently received a letter from a Parksville resident who believes fireworks are selfish and intrusive and that the “outdated tradition” should be banned. After posting the letter on the NEWS’ website and Facebook page, comments began pouring in that were both for and against fireworks. Some people argued that fireworks typically only happen once or twice a year therefor people should suck it up and accept the noise for the enjoyment of others. Others agreed with the letter writer saying fireworks are too loud and scare animals and should be banned.

Related: Fireworks misery on New Year’s Eve

Fireworks are banned in both the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach without an events permit. The Regional District of Nanaimo doesn’t have any regulations against fireworks.

There are several businesses in the RDN area that sell fireworks, including Whiskey Creek Store, the Co-Op gas station on the Alberni Highway and FarOut Fireworks in Coombs, who say they boast the largest single-item selection of fireworks on Vancouver Island.

Maggie Stevens, owner of FarOut Fireworks, says to those who want to see fireworks banned everywhere, that it’s better to have fireworks available that are made according to government safety standards as opposed to having “just anybody make explosive products out of ingredients found in most households.”

Stevens said fireworks can be sold year-round but that the business follows a strict policy when weather temperatures are high.

“If we’re in the midst of a heat wave and we receive an order through our website, for somebody celebrating anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, etc., we don’t just fill the order and do the deal,” Stevens said. “We ask enough questions to assure ourselves that our products will be lit in a safe area, such as a beach, which is the only place in such a scenario. Also, we meet with the person who placed the order to ascertain if they truly are responsible enough before we complete the order.”

Stevens said Halloween is the busiest time of year for firework sales, but New Year’s Eve isn’t far behind.

Related: Parksville fireworks on New Year’s Eve called ‘selfish, incredibly intrusive’

There is no limit on the amount of fireworks an individual can purchase, Stevens said, however there is a weight limit for transporting them from the store to elsewhere.

“Average retail sales are well under that limit, however, if it’s a sizeable order from a resort, etc., we make arrangements with Purolator or other courier services that are licensed for transporting dangerous goods,” Stevens said.

Stevens said she is well aware of the common concern that fireworks sometimes scare animals.

“I most definitely sympathize with any grief we’ve caused any animal, but there are measures one can take,” she said. “I, myself have a small dog who shakes just hearing fireworks on a TV. I give her Rescue Remedy, which is a natural product that once given, calms her down.”

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