Operation Pumpkin

Tips for Halloween & Bonfire Night

Northamptonshire Police has teamed up with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) to run the annual Operation Pumpkin campaign, which aims to prevent problems and promote safety around Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Additional high visibility police patrols will be deployed to deter anti-social behaviour, engage with communities and visit areas which have seen issues in previous years.

Local Policing Operations Inspector Ian Ross said: “Some people see this time of year as an excuse to behave badly, but the vast majority are very well behaved and act in good spirit.

“All the teams across Northamptonshire Police will be working hard to prevent and deter anti-social behaviour, and to provide reassurance and enforcement where necessary.”

Operation Pumpkin activities include school assembly visits by police community support officers and NFRS to discuss safety messages with pupils and discourage anti-social behaviour, and the distribution of posters to support shopkeepers in not selling eggs or flour to children.

‘No trick or treat’ posters are also being supplied to elderly or vulnerable residents, and parents and guardians are asked to explain what this means to children.

 Download and print the ‘No trick or treat’ poster.

Inspector Ross added: “We want everyone to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night responsibly, so that everyone has a good experience, including those who choose not to take part.

“Please take the time to talk with children about good trick or treat behaviour and how to stay safe, and explain that the ‘No trick or treat’ posters mean you shouldn’t knock at that house.”

Halloween safety tips:

  • Keep clear of all flames such as candles and lit pumpkins, which could cause costumes to catch fire or cause burns
  • Be careful how you dress on Halloween. Bu fancy dress costumes from reputable retailers and always check the label says fire retardant. Keep all costumes, bought and homemade, away from naked flame. Clothes will always burn if in contact with naked flames, but some much faster than others.
  • Plan your trick or treat route beforehand. Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents. Always go in groups.
  • When trick or treating, children should stay in well-lit areas and should never go without an adult.
  • Costumes should not be used to genuinely frighten people – particularly those who may be elderly or vulnerable.
  • Eggs and flour should be left at home when trick or treating.
  • If clothing catches fire, remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL. STOP where you are. Do not run. DROP to the ground. Lie down flat. ROLL over and over on the ground until the flames are out.
  • If using candles, make sure they are out when you leave the room. Never leave children alone with candles.
  • Do not use real candles in lanterns and pumpkins, use battery operated lights.
  • Do not make lanterns from plastic bottles/containers. This could be dangerous and could result in burns and cause fire.

Bonfire Night safety tips:

It is usually safest to go to an organised event, but if you are having fireworks at home, remember:

  • Sparklers burn at a very high temperatures and are not suitable for children under five.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks.
  • Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket.
  • Only buy fireworks from a reputable retailer and check they are CE marked.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy.
  • Never return to a lit firework.
  • Fireworks cannot be purchased by under 18s.
  • Light fireworks at arm’s length, using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box well away from any naked flame.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Follow firework instructions.
  • Don’t let noisy fireworks off after 11pm

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