The Chair of Mid Ulster District Council has urged local people to have fun, but keep safe during this year’s Halloween celebrations.
Councillor Trevor Wilson was speaking as preparations for parties begin across the region:
“There is such huge excitement at Halloween, especially among young children, but the safety message is paramount to ensure everyone gets to enjoy events to the full.
“Last year 15 people, the vast majority of them children, had to be taken to hospital to have firework injuries treated, while we all know that there will be less serious cases of minor burns treated at homes when fireworks are mishandled.
“I’m urging local people to take just a few minutes to remind themselves about the simple tips in the Fireworks Code”.
The code advises:
- only buy fireworks marked with a CE mark – this shows that the firework meets European safety standards which all fireworks must meet - a reputable shop will know this
- don’t drink alcohol if you’re setting off fireworks
- store fireworks in a closed, metal box and take out one at a time
- keep a bucket of water nearby
- follow the instructions on each firework – read by torchlight, don't use a naked flame
- light fireworks at arm’s length, using the taper provided
- make sure everyone stands well back
- don't go back to a firework that is lit - even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode
- don't put fireworks in your pocket
- don't throw fireworks
- always supervise children around fireworks and don't give sparklers to a child under five
- light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
- keep pets indoors.
For more information about the Fireworks Safety Code, visit www.nidirect.gov.uk and search ‘fireworks’.