Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is appealing to everyone to put safety first this Halloween to ensure it’s a night for treats not tragedies.
Last October 31, NIFRS received 232 calls and attended 166 incidents making it the busiest Halloween night since 2010 with a 47% increase on incidents attended from 2015.
Gerry Lennon, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: “Halloween should be a time of fun and enjoyment and for the majority of people it is.
“Unfortunately, last year we saw an increase in anti-social behaviour through deliberate fire setting. 93% of the fires we attended last Halloween night were started deliberately.
“Most of these fires involved grassland, rubbish or bonfire materials.
“Deliberate fires pose a serious risk to life, property and the environment and they put extra pressure on NIFRS resources which could result in a delay in getting to a real emergency.
“We want everyone to enjoy themselves this Halloween but to do so safely and responsibly.
“The majority of incidents we attended last year were in our Southern Area Command (45%) and we are asking people not to engage in this type of anti-social behaviour.
“While Fireworks and sparklers are good fun at Halloween, they can be dangerous and without proper supervision they can cause serious injury.
“We appeal to the public, parents and young people to ensure that fireworks and sparklers are used safely and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
“We are reminding parents of the potential dangers when their children are wearing fancy dress costumes, either shop bought or home-made.
“Make sure that children are properly supervised at all times; keep them away from fireworks, or open flames such as candles, pumpkins with candles in them and bonfires. If their costume catches fire remember STOP, DROP and ROLL to quickly extinguish the flames.
“We want everyone to have a fun and enjoyable Halloween and to put safety first to ensure it is a night for treats not tragedies. Visit our website www.nifrs.org for Halloween Safety Advice and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.”