The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service have issued a safety message ahead of Derry Hallowe’en celebrations
The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) are urging people to stay safe this Hallowe’en and make the festival ‘about treats not tragedies.’
NIFRS attended 100 incidents last Hallowe’en which was a 15% rise from the year before and 59% of those calls last year were recieved after 6pm. People are urged to take special care with sparklers, fireworks and childrens halloween costumes.
Suzanne Fleming, Group Commander, NIFRS said, “Halloween can be one of the busiest times of year for your Fire & Rescue Service. We are calling on the community to act responsibly and be fire aware.
“It is concerning that we saw an increase in incidents last Halloween and that the majority of fires we attended were set deliberately.
“Please don’t put extra pressure on us by starting fires deliberately, and if you’re using extra fire hazards at this time of year - such as candles, sparklers and fireworks - please follow our safety advice.
“If you’re deciding to use fireworks then please keep in mind that they are a fire hazard 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 well away from them.
“Fancy dress costumes can be highly flammable, and so it’s important to make sure children are properly supervised at all times; and are kept away from fireworks or open flames. It’s a good idea to swap out candles for battery operated lights. If a costume catches fire remember STOP, DROP and ROLL to quickly put the flames out.
“Without proper supervision sparklers can cause serious injury. Never give them to children under the age of 5, and wear gloves when using them, preferably leather gloves.
“By being aware of the increased fire hazards introduced at this time of year, and knowing how to use them safely, we can all be Safer Together this Halloween.”
Health Minister Robin Swann, said, “As Halloween approaches we must direct our focus to fire safety. When spending time with friends and family, please reduce risk and prevent injury by following the fire safety guidance issued by our Fire & Rescue Service.
“Fireworks are extremely dangerous. They can cause devastating injuries and pose a threat, particularly to children and young people. Fireworks can also be dangerous and distressing for pets and farm animals. I would appeal to everyone to apply caution. Stay safe and act sensibly this Halloween.”