Stay safe this Halloween
Halloween festivities can be enjoyed by everyone, but for some individuals ‘trick or treating’, bonfires, fireworks and sparklers may result in a rather nasty surprise.
Neighbourhood Inspector Trevor McKeown is appealing for parents, youth and community leaders to assist in making this year’s festivities safe and fun.
The weeks prior to and after Halloween are becoming an increasingly busy time of the year for Police. We continually receive reports of criminal damage, anti-social behaviour and the misuse of fireworks. We want to make it clear that we take Halloween seriously and anyone caught breaking the law will be dealt with robustly.
I would ask parents to make sure they know the whereabouts of their children and to make sure that they are not engaging in any criminal activity or criminal damage to property.
Individuals are also being urged to pay close attention to their own personal safety, if they intend to be in the vicinity of fireworks, sparklers or bonfires. Fireworks contain explosive, flammable substances, which can cause serious injury to an individual or damage to property. Children using sparklers should also be closely supervised.
Inspector McKeown explains the measures that are being taken to ensure incidents of criminal damage don’t escalate during the Halloween period:
High visibility patrols will be operating in hotspot areas to prevent crimes and anti-social behaviour occurring. What might seem like a prank to some young people may actually amount to carrying out an assault or causing criminal damage. I would ask any person who is involved in this type of activity to stop and think about the effect your actions are having on your neighbours and the more vulnerable people in your community.
“Setting off fireworks may seem like a harmless activity to you but, not only are you taking risks with your own safety, you are disturbing people in the local community and frightening pets. I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to use fireworks which have not been approved in line with health and safety regulations. We do not want to see anyone injured or maimed.”
We will be visiting shops and licensed firework retailers to remind them of the legislation and to encourage them to put their communities first. We also intend to visit schools in the area to talk to kids about the dangers involved.”
“Fireworks should only ever be purchased from reputable licensed dealers, not from market stalls or individuals selling door-to-door. These fireworks may not be British Standard approved and could be extremely dangerous.
“We hope that with the support of parents, schools and local community groups we can work to help make Halloween safe and enjoyable for everyone.
The safety advice below can help make Halloween a safe, enjoyable time for everyone.
Fireworks and sparklers
l Fireworks require a licence - except indoor fireworks and sparklers.
l The Explosives (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 came into operation in May 2002 and made it compulsory for anyone wishing to purchase, possess and use fireworks for a garden display to obtain a licence. The fee for a fireworks licence where there are less than 100 spectators is £30; for 100 to 1000 spectators is £80 and for more than 1000 spectators £160.
l Licence application forms are available from the NI Direct at: www.nidirect.gov.uk and typing the keyword Fireworks in the search section or by ringing 02890 520057.
l Completed application forms (together with the fee) should be sent to Firearms and Explosives Branch, Room B4.22, Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast, BT4 3SG. In order to process the applications in time for Halloween it would be helpful if they were submitted to the Branch by 23rd October 2012.
l It is illegal to possess, purchase, sell, handle or use fireworks except under licence.
l Only adults should light or handle fireworks.
l Never ever go back to a firework once lit - even if it does not go off.
l When watching fireworks, stand well back.
l It is an offence to throw fireworks in the street or other public places.
l Always supervise children around fireworks.
l Never give sparklers to children under the age of five.
l Light sparklers one at time and always wear gloves.
l Keep a bucket of water close by and put sparklers in it when they go out.
l You can be fined up to £5,000 for breaking the law in relation to fireworks.
Police recommend that fireworks should be purchased from reputable licensed dealers, not from market stalls or individuals selling door-to-door. If you have information about illegal fireworks sales contact your local police station. These fireworks may not be British Standard approved and could be extremely dangerous.
Always remember fireworks are an explosive device and sometimes un-predictable. The message is simple- enjoy Halloween, but be sensible and don’t break the law.
Further information on the law of fireworks and advice on using fireworks safely can be found at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/fireworks.
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Weather for Londonderry
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west