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Fire Safety at Halloween

Halloween can be an exciting time for little ones, with lots of bright lights, sparklers, fireworks and parties. However, in order to ensure that everyone enjoys themselves and stays safe, it is very important to be aware of fire safety.

The main fire risk include sparklers, fireworks and pumpkins. Let us explore how to promote safety for each:

Sparklers: Sparklers can look so magical, making them appealing to young children. But did you know that they reach temperatures over 10 times hotter than boiling water, often reaching 1000 – 1600 degrees Celsius. In order to promote safety, it is recommended that they are not given to children aged under 5, and even then older children should be risk assessed on an individual basis. Anyone holding them should wear gloves and ensure they are kept at arms length. It is important that adults do not use them whilst holding babies are young children. Care should also be taken to ensure that there are no loose items of clothing which could fall into the sparkler. If wearing DIY fancy dress (common over Halloween) it is important to ensure that they meet fire safety regulations for clothing. Avoid holding them close to hair, particularly if wearing hairspray. When purchasing sparklers ensure that they hold the CE mark to ensure they are fit for purpose. It is advised to only light one at a time. Always have a bucket of water or sand available to place used sparklers in, and ensure they are well extinguished before disposing of them.

Fireworks: Fire works can be beautiful, but require great care. It is advised that families attend public displays were possible, following local guidelines in relation to social distancing if applicable. Different areas have different restrictions on using fireworks for personal use, so it is important to check legalities in your area. If you choose to use them, they should only be lit by adults, well away from people and buildings and never lit inside. Again, they should possess the CE Mark and only one should be lit at a time. Always ensure that a bucket of water is kept nearby, should there be a fire and / or to dispose of used fireworks. Fireworks should be stored appropriately and kept away from naked flames such as cigarettes and matches.

Dogs can often become anxious during fireworks, which can cause them to act unpredictably. It is important to ensure that children are supervised in the company of dogs during this time to maintain their safety.

Pumpkins: Pumpkins often symbolise Halloween and appear on the doorsteps and homes of many children. However they usually contain a candle or a battery operated alternative. Whilst battery operated candles may reduce fire risk, it is important to remember that batteries can pose a risk to children if swallowed, and therefore must be kept out of their reach. When using a regular candle, ensure that they are also kept out of the reach of young children due to being a burn risk and ensure they are not placed near anything flammable. It is good practice to check the home fire alarm on a week basis, and this is even more relevant during Halloween with the increase in candles and sparklers. Pumpkins should always be carved by an adult and they knife kept out of reach of children.

Halloween is often an opportunity to spend quality time together as a family. Hopefully following these safety guidelines will ensure a fun, but safe time for all.

Wishing you and your family a happy but safe Halloween.

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