West Shore residents planning to put on their own fireworks display are required to obtain a permit from their municipality of residence. A mandatory safety course is included in that permit process. (Black Press file photo)

West Shore fireworks courses start next week

Course required for mandatory permit

Fireworks and Halloween tend to go hand-in-hand.

In an effort to keep residents safe, Colwood, Langford, Highlands and View Royal have joined forces to once again offer annual fireworks safety courses, just in time for Halloween.

In order to obtain a consumer (family) fireworks permit, residents must complete a fireworks safety course. There will be three courses offered this year starting in Langford on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. at Langford Fire Rescue’s station one (2625 Peatt Rd.), in Colwood on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at the municipal hall (3300 Wishart Rd.), and in View Royal on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. at the public safety building (333 Island Hwy).

The certificate of completion for this course is valid for three years, meaning if you took the course in 2014 or earlier, you will need to take it again before applying for a fireworks permit. If you took the course in 2015 or 2016, you can still take it again but it is not required.

Officials are also reminding residents local bylaws are in effect all year long and also apply to visitors. Some restrictions include: everyone must have a permit to possess or discharge any fireworks, permits are only issues to those aged 18 or older, consumer fireworks events may only take place on Oct. 31, between 5 and 10 p.m., and no fireworks or firecrackers may be sold or traded in West Shore municipalities.

Bylaws and fees can differ in different municipalities and resident are asked to consult their municipality before planning an event with fireworks. Permits are also contingent on current fire conditions.

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