NIFRS Halloween Safety Appeal
28 October 2015
It’s that time of year when Fireworks, Sparklers and Halloween Fancy Dress Costumes are rolled out as people across Northern Ireland enjoy the Halloween festivities. Last Halloween night (31 October 2014) Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) received 141 calls and attended 102 incidents across Northern Ireland. This is the lowest figure recorded for 31st October and represents a decrease of 18% on incidents attended during Halloween 2013.
NIFRS would like to see this trend continue and is appealing for everyone, young and old, to enjoy Halloween responsibly by putting safety first and by following the Fireworks Code to ensure it’s a night for treats not tragedies. Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Community Protection, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) explains: “We have made significant progress over the last number of years in reducing the number of incidents we attend on Halloween night but there is no room for complacency. We want to see this downward trend continue.
“We want everyone to enjoy themselves this Halloween but to do so safely and responsibly. Fireworks and sparklers can be dangerous and without proper supervision they can cause serious injury. We would appeal to the public, parents, young people and community leaders to always follow the Firework Code and ensure that fireworks and sparklers are used safely and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Plan any firework display in advance to make it both safe and enjoyable.
“Last year 18 people attended Emergency Departments across Northern Ireland with firework-related injuries. 55% of those were aged under 18. People need to be aware of the dangers of Fireworks and Sparklers and to follow our safety advice to avoid burn injuries.
“Parents should also be aware of the potential dangers of their children wearing fancy dress costumes, either shop bought or home-made, if they are around fireworks, sparklers or open flames such as pumpkins with candles. Make sure that children are properly supervised at all times, keep them away from naked flames and if their costume does catch fire remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL to try and quickly extinguish the flames and to stop the flames from rising towards their face.
“Halloween should be a time of enjoyment and fun for everyone and by following a few basic safety rules and by always putting safety first, it can be.”