Bringing in Halloween with a BANG!27 Oct 2016
We’ve been bigging up the Halloween vibes on our social media this past week or so because who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up weird and eat sweets you didn’t pay for? Unfortunately, in Northern Ireland, Halloween has proven to get the best of us at times. Last Halloween alone, six young people under the age of five were among the 15 people injured by fireworks as reported by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Only two of the injured were over the age of 18. The majority of injuries happened at family or private parties and four were caused by sparklers.
It’s good news that the figures have dramatically reduced over a ten year period when 86 people were injured by fireworks in 2005. These days, fireworks and sparklers are being handled with more care. However, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service every year issue info and advice on the topic to help reduce these
figures even further. Here are some of their key points:
What you should know when buying fireworks
If you are under the age of 16, leave the purchasing of fireworks up to adults as anything except for sparklers and indoor fireworks cannot be bought in Northern Ireland without a licence from the Department of Justice.
Firework Safety Code
When buying fireworks, make sure they comply with BS 7114 or its European equivalent and are clearly marked for their intended use “Indoor, Garden or Display”. Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin and under no circumstances should you put fireworks in your pocket. Read the instructions before use and always light fireworks at arm’s length using a taper or a firework lighter. Once lit, stand well back from the firework and never return to a firework after it has been lit as it could explode in your face.
To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is equivalent to the heat from a welding torch. Sure, they’re fascinating for children (and some adults) but sparklers are not toys and should not be treated as such. They should NEVER be given to a child under five. Any children who are using sparklers should be wearing gloves and supervised by an adult. Once a sparkler has burnt out it will still be painfully hot, so put it in a bucket of cold water and leave it there.
Animals do not like fireworks. The flames and noise upsets them. They should always be kept safely indoors when fireworks are set off nearby. Make sure that they cannot get out through open windows and doors. It is best to keep the curtains closed.
Enjoy your Halloween by celebrating in a way that doesn’t put yourself or others in danger. Don’t let your Halloween go up in smoke. Practise Firework Safety.