Superintendent Finola Dornan and Assistant Group Commander Karen McDowell
Superintendent Finola Dornan and Assistant Group Commander Karen McDowell

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) are urging everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Halloween this year. 

Halloween is typically a very busy time of year for emergency services and it is not uncommon to see an increase in calls reporting a range of concerns.

Superintendent Finola Dornan, Belfast Area, PSNI said: “Most people are responsible, but we need to be considerate and mindful of others when it comes to celebrating Halloween. Remember, what might seem like harmless fun to some, may actually feel like anti-social behaviour to others. 

“We want everyone to stay safe this Halloween and have a fun, enjoyable night and for many this also involves knowing the law on firework safety to ensure everyone can protect themselves from severe burns and injury. 

“Police patrols will be out and about to deter anti-social behaviour as well as engage with and support local communities. If you have any concerns about antisocial behaviour in your community, you can contact us on 101 or 999 in an emergency,” added Superintendent Dornan. 

Assistant Group Commander, NIFRS, Karen McDowell said: “We want to see everyone enjoy Halloween, but unfortunately each year we witness first-hand the devastating impact the misuse of fireworks and sparklers can have. 

“They are a fire hazard and can set fire to property, the environment and clothing. The explosive force of a firework can also cause serious injury particularly to your hands and face. If you do decide to use fireworks then only light them outside in an open space and keep children well away from them.

“Fancy dress costumes can be highly flammable so keep them away from fireworks or open flames. Swap out candles for battery operated lights. If a costume catches fire remember STOP, DROP and ROLL to quickly put the flames out. 

“If using sparklers, never give them to children under the age of five, and always wear gloves, preferably leather ones. Always supervise children when lighting sparklers, and ensure they hold the sparkler at arm’s length.”

By following this simple advice, you can make sure your family and friends have a safe and injury free Halloween this year.