10 Aug 2022

Coronavirus pandemic means we will have a very different Halloween this year

People in Derry using fireworks at home urged to very careful


People celebrating Halloween at home this year are being urged to follow safety guidelines.

With all public Halloween events in Derry cancelled this year because of the pandemic, there are concerns that more people in the city will host their own fireworks celebrations at home.

Both Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) have issued appeals for people intending to do this to be very careful.

Council's Head of Health and Community Wellbeing, Seamus Donaghy, urged people to be aware of the dangers of garden fireworks, fancy dress costumes and excess alcohol, and to read up on all the guidance to ensure a safe and happy Halloween.

"Every year we encourage people to adhere to the advice as we prepare to welcome tens of thousands of people to the city for the Halloween celebrations," he said.

"This year it will be a very different occasion, but the risks are still very real in terms of some of the carnival care elements.

"These risks centre mainly around the dangers presented by fireworks, candles and open flames, alcohol and drugs and unfortunately these things can be just as harmful at home, particularly around small children. We are appealing to parents to please heed the warnings and create a safe and protected environment for children.

"Young people, we are appealing to you not to gather in groups on the streets or at house parties, not to indulge in alcohol, avoid drugs and please be responsible," Mr Donaghy stressed.

"I understand these are difficult times, but we can enjoy ourselves if we follow the guidance.

“Share this time with close family and let's all do our bit to ensure a safe and happy Halloween for everyone."

Paddy Gallagher, NIFRS Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, also urged people to take care.

“We are strongly encouraging everyone to follow the COVID-19 regulations.

“We are also asking people to be especially careful when it comes to fireworks, sparklers and fancy dress costumes. You need a licence to buy fireworks and you should only ever use ones with a CE marking.

“This has been a difficult time for all of us and we want everyone to have an enjoyable and safe Halloween. Please, support your Firefighters and make sure everybody has a fun time by putting safety first.”

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