24 October 2022
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is appealing for everyone to be aware of the extra fire hazards Halloween brings.
Last Halloween (31 October 2021) NIFRS were called to 90 incidents, lower than the previous year (31 October 2020) where we were called 100 times in the same 24 hour period.
Suzanne Fleming, Group Commander, NIFRS said:
“Halloween is a busy time of year for us and we are urging everyone not to put more pressure on our resources by starting fires deliberately and to act responsibly over the Halloween period.
“If you plan to use fireworks, sparklers or candles please follow our fire safety advice to keep yourself, your family and friends safe.
“Please remember that fireworks are dangerous and can set fire to buildings and clothing. They can also cause serious injury, particularly to your hands and face. Only light fireworks outside in an open space and keep children well away from them.
“Sparklers can cause serious injury without proper supervision. Never give them to children under the age of 5 and always wear gloves when using them, preferably leather gloves.
“Fancy dress costumes can be highly flammable, and if you are making your own don’t use flammable materials such as black plastic bags. It is 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.”
NIFRS Halloween Safety Advice
Fireworks are dangerous that can set fire to buildings and clothes and can cause serious injury.
- You need a license to use fireworks. More info can be 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
- Light them at arm’s length, using a taper and stand well back
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
- Light them 1 at a time, in an open space outside
- 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 a welding torch.
- Store sparklers in a closed box in a cool, dry place.
- Always supervise children and never give them to under 5s.
- Light them 1 at a time and wear leather gloves.
- Hold them 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 them to public displays.
Costumes can be highly flammable and can catch fire so easily.
- Keep children away from naked flames
- Use a torch or battery operated candles for pumpkins and decorations.
- Make sure masks don’t restrict you or your child’s vision.
- Wear woolen tights or heavy trousers and a woolen 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 bags.
- STOP, DROP and ROLL if clothing catches fire to extinguish the flames and stop the flames from rising towards the face.