LAST Halloween night (31 October 2013) Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) received 166 calls and attended 124 incidents across Northern Ireland.
This is the lowest figure recorded for 31st October and represents a decrease of 7% on incidents attended during Halloween 2012.
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 treat not tragedies.
Dale Ashford, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Community Protection, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) explains:
“Halloween night traditionally is one of the busiest nights of the year for NIFRS but I am pleased to report we have made significant progress over the last number of years in reducing the number of incidents we attend at Halloween. Indeed, last year for the second year in a row, we saw the lowest number of incidents attended since 1989 and we welcome this reduction, but there is no room for complacency. We want to see this downward trend continue.
“We want everyone in the community 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’s all time low in the number of people attending Emergency Departments across Northern Ireland with firework-related injuries is good news, however 6 people were still injured and we want to reach a time in Northern Ireland when there are no firework-related injuries and we continue to work with our partner agencies to raise awareness about the dangers of fireworks.
“Remember, if Firefighters are called out to a fire during Halloween it’s because somebody in that area is worried or concerned. Firefighters are not out to spoil anyone’s fun and are there to protect life, protect property and work tirelessly to keep you and your community safe.
“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.”
Halloween Safety Advice
- It is compulsory for anyone wishing to buy or use fireworks to obtain a Licence. The fee for a Fireworks Licence is £30 (if under 100 people attending) and application forms can be obtained fromwww.nidirect.gov.uk (search Fireworks).
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box when not in use and keep away from ignition sources.
- Follow the manufacturer’s advice on each firework and use them one at a time.
- Light them at arm’s length using a taper. Stand well back.
- Never go near a firework that has been lit, even if it hasn’t gone off: it could still explode.
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
- Always supervise children around fireworks.
- Keep pets and animals indoors – the flames and noise upset them.
- Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm.
Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless but they do burn at fierce temperatures. To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is equivalent to the heat from a welding torch.
- Store sparklers in a closed box in a cool, dry place.
- Always light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves, keeping them at arm’s length.
- Never hold a baby or child if you have a sparkler in your hand.
- Plunge finished sparklers hot end down into a bucket of water as soon as they have burnt out. Sparklers stay hot for a long time.
- Don’t take sparklers to public displays. It will be too crowded to use them safely.
- Never give sparklers to under 5s – they will not understand how to use them safely.
- Always supervise children using sparklers, give children gloves to wear and teach them how to use them properly.
Total incidents attend by
NIFRS on 31st October