Do I need a fireworks permit?
To sell, purchase or set off fireworks in Strathcona County, you must have a valid fireworks permit. Residents that want to discharge fireworks can do so on private property in the rural area. While there is no charge for obtaining a fireworks permit, there are penalties for discharging without one or for being in violation of a fireworks permit regulation.
Fireworks are not allowed in hamlets including Sherwood Park, Antler Lake, Ardrossan, Collingwood Cove, Half Moon Lake, Hastings Lake, Josephburg, North and South Cooking Lake.
Where do I get a fireworks permit?
Applications for fireworks permits must be made in person at Fire Station 6, 915 Bison Way, Sherwood Park, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays).
Fireworks permit holders are required to call the Burn Status Line at 780-464-8464 or text the word "BURN" to 587-340-3696 immediately before discharge to ensure that burning is allowed at that time.
The sale and use of fireworks is regulated within Strathcona County by three acts of legislation, including the Alberta Fire Code and federal law. The Fire Prevention division issues permits for all pyrotechnics, including consumer and display fireworks, special effects for movies, and for open flames in public places.
Consumer fireworks may only be discharged on private rural lands.
Applicants must be at least 18 years, the legal landowner, or have written permission from the legal landowner to obtain a fireworks permit.
Frequently asked fireworks questions:
1. Do I need a fireworks permit? Permanent link to Do I need a fireworks permit?
All fireworks displays within Strathcona County require a permit. Permits are free, and must be applied for in person at Station 6, 915 Bison Way, Sherwood Park, during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday).
Only the land owner/leasee or person with written permission from the land owner/leasee is eligible to apply for a fireworks permit. All applicants must be over the age of 18.
All firworks permits are subject to a fire ban.
2. What type of fireworks are permitted? Permanent link to What type of fireworks are permitted?
Consumer fireworks can be privately purchased, possessed or discharged by residents in Strathcona County with a valid fireworks permit.
Display fireworks are the type used in municipal celebrations such as New Year’s Eve or Canada Day.
Special effect pyrotechnics are designed for use by professionals. This class also includes special purpose pyrotechnics manufactured for live stage, film and television industries.
Permits for display and pyrotechnic fireworks are only given to licensed pyrotechnic professionals and only at the Fire Marshal’s discretion.
3. Where can I discharge fireworks? Permanent link to Where can I discharge fireworks?
Consumer fireworks may only be discharged on private rural lands. Permits cannot be issued for properties within the boundaries of Sherwood Park or the rural hamlets. They may not be discharged on public lands without special permission from the County and are prohibited in any of the rural hamlets at any time.
4. Can I use firecrackers? Permanent link to Can I use firecrackers?
The use of “firecrackers” is strictly prohibited and illegal at all times in Alberta.
5. Can I use flying or sky lanterns? Permanent link to Can I use flying or sky lanterns?
Flying or sky lanterns have been determined to create a potentially uncontrolled and unsafe condition. Therefore, under Section 9 of the Safety Codes Act, they are not acceptable for sale or use in Alberta.
6. Why does the Burning Status Line say burning is not allowed right now? Permanent link to Why does the Burning Status Line say burning is not allowed right now?
Emergency Services reserves the right to suspend fire permits without notice at any time when conditions are unsafe for open fires.
There are three basic reasons for this:
- it’s too dry
- it’s too windy (winds are forecasted to exceed 15 km/h)
- a fire ban or advisory is in place
This status is continually monitored and may change quickly. We encourage residents to consider their fire size and possible duration prior to burning.
7. How do I report someone who is burning improperly? Permanent link to How do I report someone who is burning improperly?
Immediate danger to life or properties should be reported to 9-1-1.
Non-emergent complaints can be directed to Fire Prevention at 780-449-9651 or email@example.com. Please provide the exact address of the complaint to assist with the investigation.
Complaints may include incidents of excessive or toxic smoke, burning prohibited materials, burning improperly or burning during a fire ban or advisory.
8. What is the difference between a fire advisory and a fire ban? Permanent link to What is the difference between a fire advisory and a fire ban?
All fire and fireworks permits are suspended during a fire advisory as open burning is not allowed. Recreational fires with appropriate screens are allowed. This includes charcoal barbecues, recreational fires in campgrounds and where appropriate, in parks.
A fire advisory is announced when there is a high fire danger. If the situation does not improve, there is a good chance that a fire ban will be announced shortly afterwards.
During a fire ban, no outdoor burning of any kind is allowed. This includes the use of fireworks. Cooking and recreational appliances that produce heat and can be turned off using a switch or knob may be used during a fire ban. This includes, but is not limited to, gas barbecues. Fire and fireworks permits are temporarily suspended.
9. How do you decide when a fire ban is declared? Permanent link to How do you decide when a fire ban is declared?
Emergency Services compiles and reviews current and forecasted data such as humidity, ground moisture, temperature and precipitation specific to Strathcona County. This information determines the Fire Weather Index. There are five levels to the index, low, moderate, high, very high and extreme.
Other factors reviewed include:
- Risk of a fire getting out of control
- Relation between temperature and humidity
- Water restrictions or water bans
We always encourage our residents to follow safe burning practises. All residents with a fire permit must call the Burning Status line at 780-464-8464 or text the word “BURN” to 587-340-3696 before burning, to make sure burning is allowed.
Fire bans are declared and lifted by the Fire Chief or designate.
10. What are the penalties for burning illegally? Permanent link to What are the penalties for burning illegally?
Any person who ignites, fuels, supervises, maintains or permits an outdoor fire within the municipal boundaries of Strathcona County without a permit or in violation of burning regulations (e.g. during a fire ban) can be fined up to $1,000.
Should the fire get out of control and emergency fire response is required, the person responsible for the fire may be charged firefighting costs.
If your fire causes damage to others' property, you may also be responsible for the costs to repair the damage, whether you have a valid permit or not.
Fire Prevention division