Irish Fire & Emergency Services Association Halloween Safety message
The Irish Fire & Emergency Services Association urge everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween. Illegal fireworks or homemade fireworks can and do cause injury to people often life changing injuries . Children from age 5 to 14 are most frequently involved in fireworks-related injuries, and IFESA points out the need for close adult supervision of all fireworks activities. Halloween fireworks can cause injuries serious enough to require hospital treatment. Severe injuries caused by fireworks can include burns, lacerations, amputations, and blindness.
Sparklers are often considered harmless fun. However, they can burn as hot as 650° Celsius (1200 °Fahrenheit) and can ignite clothing. As with other fireworks, always use them outdoors under adult supervision. Place used sparklers immediately into a metal container. The majority of the injuries from fireworks involve misuse rather than malfunction.Bon Fires at any time of the year also pose a major risk to all including animals with people stock piling wood an other items this can pose a significant hazard to premises they are stored beside or in .We would advise all to be vigilant and report any stock piled material.If people do attend a Bon fire be very careful and stand well back, as what has been placed in the fire can react violently .Even small used aerosol canister , can turn into missiles and seriously injure people.Items like aerosol cans gas cylinders and chemicals can explode with out warning even after the fire is out and people start poking around in the ashes the next day.
At this time of year we see a significant rise in attacks on Fire,ambulance and Gardai. They attacks have seriously injured crews in the past.Attacks on vehicle have seen vehicles taken off the road for repairs while this is happening their would be a reduction in emergency cover in the area affected.This reduction in cover delays the response of emergency services in case of a real emergency.
SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN WHILE TRICK OR TREATING
Buy flame resistant costumes, wigs and accessories. The best costumes are bright and reflective. Keep costumes short enough to prevent tripping. Consider adding reflective tape or striping for greater visibility.
- Give every child a torch with fresh batteries. Remind children of traffic safety rules, and that they should cross streets at corners, and to never cross between parked cars.
- Make sure that children know how to call 999 / 112 if they experience an emergency or become lost. 999 / 112 can be dialed free from any pay phone.
- Secure emergency information (name, address, telephone number) within a child’s Halloween attire.
- Give older children coins for non-emergency calls if they dont have a mobile.
- Teach children to STOP, DROP and ROLL should their clothing catch fire: STOP immediately. DROP to the ground and cover face, unless hands are on fire. ROLL over and over until the flames are extinguished.
SAFETY TIPS FOR ADULTS
- Be extra careful when driving. Excited children can forget safety rules. Make sure to appoint a designated driver if you are attending adult Halloween parties.
- Accompany children when they go out trick or treating. Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism.
- Community centres, shopping malls and houses of worship may hold organised Halloween events. As an alternative, start one in your neighbourhood.
SAFETY AT HOME
- Consider using only battery powered lanterns or chemical light sticks instead of candles in decorations.
- Votive candles are the safest for pumpkins. Keep candles, matches and lighters away from the reach of children. Place lighted pumpkins on sturdy tables, away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave them unattended.
- When decorating your home, ensure that electrical outlets are not overloaded with halloween lighting or special effects. Keep exit doors unblocked. Replace bulbs on outdoor lights. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms. Test monthly; replace annually.
- Eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and path. Check for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous for young children as they rush from house to house.
- Make pets safe by keeping them away from the door and visiting trick or treaters, and do not let them outside. Ensure that they are wearing collars and proper I.D. tags. Talk to a veterinarian for advice more specific to individual pets.
- Remember that chocolate is deadly for pets. So are plastic and foil sweet wrappers. Give pets an extra biscuit, not Halloween sweets.
- Dog’s tails can be lethal weapons. Keep dogs and cats away from pumpkins with candles in them or lighted candles; they could knock them over and start a fire or receive serious burns.
- If holding an indoor Halloween party, place pets in a room, well away from the party. Leave them with food and water. Check on them once in a while, to let them know everything is fine