The Dover District Community Safety Partnership is reminding people to stay safe during Halloween and firework festivities.
The partnership – which sees Dover District Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and many other agencies working together – is asking for assistance from parents, young people, youth and community leaders, and shopkeepers to make sure everyone has fun safely.
Community Safety Partnership Officer Heidi Golden said: “We hope people have fun at their Halloween and fireworks celebrations, but we also want them to take care and respect others. Let’s help keep Dover District safe.”
Ian Swallow from Kent Police added: “We want every member of the community to enjoy the Halloween and bonfire periods safely and responsibly. Please respect householders’ privacy if your children are out trick or treating and use fireworks safely and within the law. Over both weekends, as part of Kent Police’s Safer Autumn campaign, there will be an increased Police presence in the community to deal with acts of anti-social behaviour and the misuse of fireworks and we will treat any such incidents seriously.”
In the run up to Halloween, shops are being asked to display posters stating that they will not sell eggs to under 18s. As Fireworks Night draws closer the partnership is distributing firework safety posters to shopkeepers and asking them to put the information on display.
The key reminders from the partnership for Halloween are:
• If trick or treating, make sure that younger children are accompanied by a responsible adult
• Do not knock at doors displaying no trick or treat signs
• Be aware that an unexpected knock on the door after dark could alarm an elderly or vulnerable person
• Act responsibly
• Be safe, be seen. Wear high visibility clothing and stay in well lit areas.
During firework celebrations:
• Remember fireworks can hurt and frighten people and animals
• It is safer to go to an organised display
• If you are an adult and still want to buy your own fireworks only buy those marked BS 7114
• If you break the law and use fireworks in a way that causes nuisance you could be fined £80 – this includes if you: sell adult fireworks to anyone under 18; have fireworks meant for a professional display; let off fireworks after 11pm and before 7am, except on Bonfire Night (allowed up until midnight), New Year’s Eve, Diwali and the Chinese New Year (all allowed up until 1am).
Nicholas Silvester from Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “Bonfire and firework season should be an enjoyable time of year but sometimes it can end in someone being injured or property damaged.
“People should bear in mind that a simple sparkler can burn up to a temperature of 2,000 degrees centigrade, so they should NEVER be given to a child under the age of five. Always treat fireworks with care and respect.”
For more information on the Dover District Community Safety Partnership, please see www.doverdistrictcsp.org.uk, or for seasonal advice from Kent Police, including posters to download, please see www.kent.police.uk/advice/seasonal_advice/autumn.html. For further fire safety tips, please go to www.kent.fire-uk.org