Vancouver police give safety tips for Halloween 0
Fireworks, road safety and candy sifting are a priority for Vancouver emergency officials during Halloween (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)
Fireworks burned two holes in an 8-year-old girl’s sweater two years ago on Halloween, a potentially deadly incident officials used on Tuesday to remind the public of staying safe on what’s supposed to be a fun, children-oriented night.
The problem is, said Vancouver fire Capt. Gabe Roder, there are “irresponsible individuals” out there playing with explosives — including quarter-sticks of dynamite capable of destroying a person’s hand — and others who use fireworks without a permit.
“For some individuals, using legal fireworks just isn’t good enough anymore,” he said, holding up the twisted remains of a mailbox blown up by firecrackers.
“I don’t need to tell you how powerful these things are.”
Fortunately, the 8-year-old girl only suffered minor burns. The fire department was notified by one of her schoolteachers.
Last year, 37 fires on Oct. 31 resulted in nearly half a million dollars in property damage, more than double the year before.
Police Sgt. Randy Fincham said those who violate permit and explosives laws could be fined up to $500 and have their items confiscated.
Police also urged the public against using costume prop weapons.
“We’d like to ask, if you do decide to use these as decorations that they be clearly marked as costumes,” Fincham said.
Paramedics also respond to a higher-than-average number of calls during Halloween, including calls for blocked airways, from small children swallowing large candies, jaywalkers, and firework-related injuries, according to the B.C. Ambulance Service.
Parents are also reminded to have their children wear bright costumes, preferably without masks that reduce their ability to see.
“We want them to be safe and to have a fun Halloween,” added Fincham.