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Stay Safe this Halloween and Bonfire Night

As the nights draw in, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) are sharing fire safety messages in the lead up to two of the biggest nights in the Autumnal calendar.

As well as the final half term in 2021, there is Halloween and Bonfire Night to look forward to. These two dates are renowned for big events, large groups of people being outside and lots of fun. To ensure these events continue to be a highlight during the darkest and coldest months of the year, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service share their top safety advice.

Halloween

  • Plastic capes and bin liners are often used as costumes - keep them away from candles or other naked flames
  • Use battery operated lights within homemade lanterns and pumpkins. Battery operated lights are much safer than candles
  • Take extra care with candles - they are extremely hazardous. If the candle tips over it could set light to materials such as costumes, curtains, clothes and furniture and start a serious fire. Make sure they are extinguished properly before leaving the house or going to bed and are out of reach from children
  • Buy fancy dress costumes from reputable retailers. Dressing up costumes are currently classed as toys under British Toy Safety Regulations, meaning they are less fire resistant than children’s nightclothes and assume a child is able to move away from or drop a burning toy. The British Retail Consortium introduced more stringent flammability tests and labelling in 2017 for these costumes, which were endorsed by the National Fire Chiefs Council and others such as Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Children’s Burns Trust. Many reputable high street retailers and children’s costume manufacturers in the UK signed up to this more robust voluntary code
  • Costumes should comply with EN71 – a European-wide standard, which tests for flammability. It should also have a CE mark, which means the product complies with European health and safety requirements
  • Check costumes are labelled as flame-resistant
  • In an emergency, cool any burns with water and call 999
  • Respect the wishes of people who don’t wish to take part in trick or treating and look out for vulnerable family and neighbours who may be on their own
  • Keep to pavements and cross roads carefully when trick or treating
  • Motorists should watch out for children walking on roadways and curbs, and enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully

If clothing does catch on fire remember to stop, drop and roll. And remember you can always call 999 and ask for the fire service if it is an emergency.

Bonfire Night

  • Only buy fireworks from a reputable shop and ensure they are CE marked. Keep them in a closed metal box and ensure you follow the instructions carefully
  • Place fireworks on a stable surface and light at arm’s length using a taper, stand well back and never throw nor go back to a lit firework
  • Do not burn household rubbish or white goods on a bonfire. Keep your bonfire within a cordon area away from fireworks, people, property, and trees and never light using flammable liquid. Check for animals hiding before lighting
  • Keep pets indoors and ensure children are safe and a good distance away from the fireworks
  • Pour water on bonfire embers to ensure it is fully extinguished before leaving or going to bed
  • If using sparklers, ensure they are held in a gloved hand at arm’s length and there is a bucket of water to put them in once the sparkler is out

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service commenced their ‘Bright Sparx’ campaign from the 1 October by offering an online school education package, highlighting the importance of bonfire safety messages to children.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will be hosting their virtual fireworks display on their Facebook page on Friday 5 November at 6.30pm. The event was a huge success in 2020 and provided a safe environment for people to watch a fantastic fireworks display.

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