Halloween. Trick or Treat. Bonfire night. Fireworks. This week is a busy and fun time of year. But there are also dangers involved and not everyone enjoys this time as much as others.
So we’re sharing here various advice from the Police and Fire Services and others. Please share with members of your group, network, family or friends. Let’s all have a great Halloween/Bonfire season together.
HALLOWEEN AND TRICK OR TREAT
Halloween can be great fun for the whole family, but naked flames and cheap plastic costumes can be a dangerous combination.
There are multiple dangers associated with the American tradition of ‘trick-or-treat’. Here are just a few tips to keep youngsters as safe as they can be if they are venturing out to visit friends and neighbours on a dark evening:
• Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material
• Avoid cheap floaty materials which may catch fire easily
• Place strips of reflective tape on the back and front of costumes, so drivers can better see your child
• Dress your child for the weather. Add layers if needed
If your child is going out without an adult:
• Make sure your child is in a group of at least three people
• Give them a torch. A mobile phone is also a good idea if you have one.
• Discuss in advance the route they should follow. Ask them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn’t on the route
• Avoid crossing main roads if possible
• Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger’s house
• Avoid houses you know which have frail or vulnerable owners. They may not share your enthusiasm for Halloween!!
• Try and visit houses of friends, family or immediate neighbours if possible
• Be aware of candles or naked flames on doorsteps
• Should the worst happen and your costume catches fire – STOP, DROP and ROLL
• Turn on outdoor lights, and replace burnt-out bulbs
• Remove items from your drive or porch that might trip a child
• Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway
• Use an alternative to candles in your pumpkins, such as a torch, LED or a battery-operated candle
• Remember that some children have food allergies. Consider giving other simple treats such as stickers, pens or a yo-yo
• Put a polite notice on your door if you do not wish to have trick or treat visitors
Be aware of small groups on pavements and possibly crossing roads
Drive to the conditions which may be slippery due to wet leaves and visibility may be poor
Slow down in residential areas where groups (sometimes in dark clothing) may be crossing the road
ADVICE SUPPLIED BY HUMBERSIDE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES (see here)
But it’s not just about staying safe. Trick or Treating should be done respectfully as not everyone enjoys it. Here’s the message from HUMBERSIDE POLICE about their work during Halloween:
With Halloween just around the corner, we’re gearing up to make sure it’s a ‘spooktacular’ time for everyone – including those who’d rather not get involved. To the delight of many, the season is fast approaching and once again people will be making the most of the occasions celebrating with friends and family.
This period is always one of our busiest, however, we would like to offer reassurance to those who are looking to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night or those that prefer not to. We want to remind those intent of causing harm or committing offences, that we are out in force and ready to act against anyone spoiling others’ fun.
Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson said: “You will begin to see a clear police presence on patrol in and around your neighbourhood over this period. We really want everyone to enjoy themselves so we want to remind the public we will be there to deal with any incidents promptly.
“We will take a zero tolerance approach when it comes to anyone deliberately looking to harm others enjoying the occasions. This includes being antisocial such as taunting or intimidating people, or throwing things at people, their houses or cars.
“Not everyone wants to celebrate occasions such as Halloween, so I would ask that those that are celebrating the season to consider their fellow neighbours to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.
“For those who would rather not have trick or treaters visit their home, you can display our poster on your front doors or windows. I would ask parents and guardians to explain this to their children and make sure they don’t knock on these doors. Posters are available to download from our website or you can visit your local police station to receive a printed copy.
“We also have a poster for shops to display in their windows about the sale of items such as flour and eggs, which are commonly purchased by young people to use anti-socially on Halloween. We would encourage local shops to put these up and consider who they are selling these types of items to, as this will help to keep anti-social behaviour to a minimum.
“As the nights get darker, it is usual for us to see crimes such as burglary and theft rise, particularly if houses and vehicles are unattended whilst you go trick or treating, to gatherings or firework displays. Not locking doors or windows is the number one way to prevent offences of this nature, but for further crime prevention advice on protecting your home https://www.humberside.police.uk/protect-your-home or protecting your vehicle https://www.humberside.police.uk/protect-your-vehicle, visit our website.
“Most importantly, we will be working hard with our partners at the council and Humberside Fire and Rescue to ensure everyone enjoys the Halloween and Bonfire Night period safely.”
If you need assistance at any point over this period, make sure you’re calling the right agency, as this means emergencies can be prioritised by us, fire and the ambulance service and your issue is being picked up by the correct team. #MakeTheRightCall
MESSAGE FROM HUMBERSIDE POLICE
A Poster can be downloaded and printed to display in your window if you would prefer not to be trick or treated. If you are part of a network, please share with others.
FIREWORK SAFETY ADVICE
Although fireworks are entertaining and exciting, if not properly handled they can be extremely dangerous and can result in injuries, often serious ones.
Fireworks should only be lit in a safe and controlled environment by a responsible adult. You should:
HUMBERSIDE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE urges residents to follow this safety advice to ensure people’s safety:
Only buy fireworks with a CE mark. All reputable dealers will only sell fireworks to this standard
Keep fireworks in a closed box
Follow the instructions on each firework
Light all fireworks at arms length
Stand well back
Never go back to a lit firework
Never throw fireworks
Keep pets indoors
And always follow the Firework Code.
THE FIREWORK CODE
✷ Do not buy fireworks from UNLICENCED retailers.
These fireworks may be unsafe and illegal.
✷ Only buy fireworks that comply with current safety standards.
✷ Always keep fireworks in a closed box.
✷ Take them out one at a time and close the box.
✷ Never put fireworks in your pocket.
✷ Be considerate. Let your neighbours know you will be having a display, especially if they are elderly or they have pets or children.
✷ Avoid setting fireworks off late at night, particularly if it is a school-night.
✷ Ensure your pets are safe.
✷ Carefully follow the instructions on EACH firework.
✷ Never go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise.
✷ Never throw fireworks; it is dangerous.
✷ Light fireworks one at a time, at the end of the fuse, and at arm’s length.
✷ Light sparklers one at a time and wear suitable gloves, even when lighting them.
✷ Never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5.
✷ Never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire.
Download a copy of the Firework code here https://www.britishfireworksassociation.co.uk/download/bfa-firework-code-pdf-white/?wpdmdl=755. Print a copy for a local noticeboard maybe?
Watch this video about Firework safety
Sparklers are often seen as being more harmless than fireworks but they do burn at fierce temperatures.
To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is similar 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 sparkler in their hand while also holding a baby or child
– 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)
– not take sparklers to public displays – it will be too crowded to use them safely
– never give sparklers to children under the age of five – they will not understand how to use them safely
– always supervise children using sparklers, teach them how to use them properly, and give children woollen gloves to wear
If you are able to print leaflets, then here are two useful ones about firework safety:
NO COLD CALLERS
Cold callers tend to use Halloween as an excuse to knock on doors.
Here’s some useful advice from NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL TRADING STANDARDS DEPARTMENT
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards team is urging people to report doorstep callers offering to carry out work on homes, gardens and business premises.
People are asked to remain vigilant and report any sightings of suspected rogue traders in the area.
Rogue traders target the vulnerable and the elderly. They overcharge for doing very little work and in most cases leave the victim having to find a reputable trader to put right what they’ve done.
After carrying out work such as cutting back trees, they charge to take the waste away and then dump it illegally. You could be liable if unlicensed traders dump anything from your property.
Rogue traders defraud victims through pressure selling. Often offering substantial reductions to start the work there and then, breaching the victim’s legal rights of a cooling off period. They then escalate the price once work has started.
While cold calling is not illegal, it may be that the trader isn’t all they seem and may even be committing a criminal offence. Residents have the right to choose if they want uninvited callers to their home.
People can report cold callers to Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Trading Standards advice if you need work carrying out:
Get a number of quotes from traders known to you, family or friends
Do not answer the door to traders you do not know or have not asked to visit
Display a notice to deter cold callers
People can report cold callers to Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Fraudsters also often use social media sites to trick people into parting with their money or personal details. Posts can include investment opportunities, to items and services for sale.
Entering into a contract with anyone on social media is not advised due to the impermanent nature of it. Anyone who has access to a phone or laptop can set up a fake name and address. The advice on checking into companies, asking for examples of work, still apply.
For more advice on this or to report a fraud, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk
No Cold Caller window stickers are available for free from Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire. Contact Karl Elliott at email@example.com.
Have a great Halloween / Bonfire Night.