FIRE chiefs have warned the public about the dangers of fireworks in the wrong hands as the clock ticks down to tonight’s Hallowe’en celebrations.
And they are urging the public to heed the message on television adverts about how fireworks are like explosives in the wrong hands.
Last Hallowe’en was one of the quietest nights for 22 years for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.
And fire chiefs want it to stay that way over the Hallowe’en period.
A fire spokesman said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves this Hallowe’en but to do so safely and responsibly.
“Remember Firefighters are not out to spoil anyone’s fun and Fire Crews in your area are there to protect life, protect property and keep you safe.
Figures obtained by the Belfast Daily reveal that:
* 197 emergency calls were received by NIFRS;
* 145 incidents attended by fire crews;
* these were the lowest figures since 1989;
* the figures were down 35 per cent on 2010
* 25 people needed to attend Accident and Emergency hospitals for treatmet to firework related injuries;
* down 47 per cent;
* the lowest figure of hospital treated injuries since 1996.
However, fire chiefs are now resting and are making a further appeal to keep serious injuries and incidents down to a minimum.
And here is how you can keep safe this Hallowe’en:
* when buying fireworks, make sure they comply with BS 7114 or its European equivalent and are clearly marked for their intended use “Indoor, Garden or Display”.
• Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin.
• Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately.
• NEVER put fireworks in your pocket.
• Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp. NEVER use a naked flame.
• Light fireworks at arm’s length using a taper or a fi rework lighter.
• Stand well back and NEVER return to a fi rework after it has been lit as it could explode in your face.
• Always supervise children around fi reworks.
• NEVER throw fireworks. Animals hate fireworks.
• Take care of sparklers; wear gloves to hold them and dispose of sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished.
• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11 pm.
These are often viewed as being harmless but they do burn at fi erce temperatures. To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is equivalent to the heat from a welding torch.
• Never give sparklers to young children under five.
• Always wear gloves with sparklers, preferably leather ones.
• Hold it at arm’s length while an adult lights it for you.
• Never wave sparklers near someone else as you could burn them.
• Never hold a baby in your arms when you are holding a sparkler.
• When the sparkler has fi nished, put it into a bucket of cold water straight away and leave it there.