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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

NIFRS issues safety advice to those celebrating a Spooktacular Halloween

Halloween lanterns and candles

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is calling for everyone to take extra care with fire hazards introduced at Halloween.


While Halloween is a holiday to celebrate with fancy dress, trick-or-treating and fireworks, it’s important to be vigilant of the potential safety risks during the spooky season.


Last Halloween, (31 October 2022) NIFRS were called to 84 incidents, lower than the previous year (31 October 2021) where crews were called 90 times in the same 24 hour period.



NIFRS Station Commander Karen McDowell said:


“Halloween can be one of the busiest times of year for us and we are urging everyone in our community to act responsibly. We want you, along with your friends and family, to have a safe Halloween.


“We understand that you want to celebrate, however if you plan to use fireworks, sparklers or candles please follow our fire safety advice.


“Please remember that fireworks are dangerous and can set fire to buildings and clothing. The explosive force of a firework can also cause serious injury, particularly to your hands and face. Only light them outside, in an open space, and keep children and pets well away from them.



“Sparklers can also cause serious injury, especially without proper supervision, as they burn at very high temperatures. Never give them to children under the age of 5 and always wear gloves when using them.


“Fancy dress costumes can be highly flammable. If you’re making your own, don’t use flammable materials such as black plastic bags. It’s important to make sure children are properly supervised at all times and kept away from fireworks or open flames. If a costume catches fire remember STOP, DROP and ROLL to quickly put the flames out.


“We 'witch' you all a happy Halloween and recommend reading our safety advice ahead of the festivities.”



NIFRS Halloween Safety Advice


Fireworks are dangerous and can set fire to buildings and clothes and can cause serious injury.


• It is compulsory to have a license to use fireworks.


More information is available at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/fireworks.


• Only buy fireworks marked with a CE mark and read instructions carefully.


• When not in use, keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin and away from ignition sources.


• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.


• Always supervise children around fireworks and keep them well away from them.


• Keep pets indoors as the flames and noise upset them.


• Light fireworks at arm’s length, one at a time in an open space outside using a taper and stand well back.


• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.


• Never go near a firework that has been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off as it could still explode.



Sparklers can cause serious injury as they burn at very high temperatures. To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is equivalent to a welding torch.


• Store sparklers in a closed box in a cool, dry place.


• Always supervise children and never give sparklers to children under the age of 5.


• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.


• Hold sparklers at arm’s length.


• Never hold a child with a sparkler in your hand.


• When burnt out, plunge hot end down into a bucket of water.


• Don’t take sparklers to public displays.



Costumes can be highly flammable and can catch fire easily.


• Keep children away from naked flames.


• Use a torch or battery operated candles for pumpkins and decorations.


• Make sure costumes and masks don’t restrict you or your child’s vision.


• Wear woollen tights or heavy trousers and a woollen jumper under your costume.


• Ensure children are properly supervised at all times.


• Ensure costumes are labelled ‘Low Flammability’ ‘BS5722’ or have the European code ‘BS EN 14878’.


• If making your own costume don’t use flammable materials like black plastic bags.


• STOP, DROP and ROLL if clothing catches fire to extinguish the flames and stop the flames from rising towards the face.

 

Incidents attended by NIFRS at Halloween (2020-2022):


Statistics for Incidents attended by NIFRS at Halloween (2020-2022)


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