Stay safe and vigilant this Halloween and Bonfire Night
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We are urging people to stay vigilant this Halloween and Bonfire Night to help protect themselves and others from the risk of fire and anti-social behaviour.
Officers are working with colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, local authorities and the wider community to keep everyone safe as we approach the darker winter months.
The end of October into early November is a well-known period of celebration for many of our communities, with events taking place across the region. However, this is traditionally a time when we see an increase in demand for emergency services.
Most people enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night responsibly, but some put themselves and others at risk, while a minority use this time as an excuse to engage in anti-social behaviour.
We want to make sure these events are enjoyable and safe for everyone, particularly families, trick-or-treaters, elderly residents, local businesses and visitors to the county.
Chief Inspector Laura Morrey said: “The hustle and bustle of Halloween and Bonfire Night makes winter one of the most exciting times of the year.
“However, we want to make it clear that this period is not an excuse for anti-social behaviour. It will not be tolerated and those intent on causing problems will be robustly dealt with.
“Our local officers and police community support officers will be highly visible across the county and engaging with the community to provide extra reassurance. We want to ensure that everyone feels safe and protected.”
Meanwhile, firefighters are urging the public to attend organised displays on Bonfire Night and to take extra care to keep loved ones safe.
Fireworks can cause serious injury if people are not alert to the possible dangers.
Ian Read, Head of Prevent and Protect at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We want everyone to enjoy a safe and spooky Halloween, but every year many adults and children are injured due to the fire risk around candles and costumes.
“Bonfire Night and the days before and after it are traditionally one of our busiest periods.
“We want the public to enjoy themselves, but we also want to highlight how important it is to be aware of the risks. We are, therefore, urging the public to attend professionally-organised displays. These are much safer with few significant injuries.
“If you do decide to celebrate at home with your own fireworks or bonfire, please plan carefully and take extra care.”
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council, said: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time at Halloween and Bonfire night and our Trading Standards officers are offering some simple advice for families to do this.
“When buying costumes, especially for children, it’s really important to make sure that they meet the necessary safety standards. Look for a CE mark on the costume, which shows that the manufacturer guarantees the product’s safety. If you’re shopping online, make sure to buy from a legitimate UK source.
"And be aware of counterfeit costumes as they are often made with sub-standard materials that could put the wearer at risk.”
Councillor David Williams, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Resilience at Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time during Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations. There are lots of organised events happening across Stoke-on-Trent that people can participate including activities for young people during half term.
“Unofficial events come with extra risks such as safety concerns so please check this. Our environmental teams have also been out and about over the past weeks clearing any materials / rubbish that may present a fire risk. To report call 01782 234234 or visit www.stoke.gov.uk.
“Alongside Staffordshire Police, we also have a dedicated operation aimed at tackling the issues that arise at this time of year. A phone line and email address has been set up with Staffordshire Police so that the local community can report any concerns regarding anti-social-behaviour related to Halloween and fireworks. You can call 01782 233400 or email [email protected].”
If you are going trick-or-treating this year, we advise that you:
Go with a responsible adult and make sure your parent or carer knows where you are going and what time to expect you back
Only go to the houses of people you know and those who are happy for you to call
Take extra care not to frighten elderly or vulnerable people
Pay attention to not call at homes which are displaying a ‘no trick-or-treat here’ sign. These can be downloaded online and placed in your window
Do not throw eggs and flour
If you are hosting or attending a private display, firefighters strongly recommend that you: