Northern Ireland news

'Don't put unnecessary pressure on us over Halloween' says Covid-hit Fire Service

The Fire Service has said Halloween celebrations in the home have the potential to increase the risk of fire.
Ryan McAleer

THE fire service has urged people to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on firefighters over Halloween.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) is anticipating an increased risk of fire this weekend, with most people celebrating Halloween at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Assistant chief Paddy Gallagher said while arrangements had been put in place in the early days of the pandemic, he said the strain of coronavirus was now being felt across the service.

“We are beginning to feel the impact of Covid-19 on our ability to deliver our service and coping mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that we are able to continue to respond to incidents," he said.

Traditionally one of the busiest periods for the service, the assistant chief said the fact most people will stay at home has the potential to increase the risk of fire.

“This is why we are calling on our community to help support us and be extra fire aware this Halloween to help reduce the number of incidents we are required to attend whilst we manage the organisational impact of the ongoing Covid–19 pandemic,” he said.

“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. Always light your sparklers one at a time and keep a bucket of water near to hand to put them out in afterwards.

“Children wearing fancy dress costumes should be kept well away from fire and if they do catch fire remember; stop, drop and roll. This has been a difficult time for all of us and we want everyone to have an enjoyable and safe Halloween."

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Northern Ireland news