DURING the Halloween season first responders see a spike in the number of fireworks-related injuries and structure fires. In an effort to reduce these types of incidents, City of Surrey By-Law Enforcement and Surrey RCMP have been busy targeting illegal sales of fireworks and firecrackers.
With just a few days to go before Halloween arrives, approximately $13,000 in illegal fireworks and firecrackers have been seized and $6,250 in fines have been issued.
With the selling of fireworks prohibited in the City of Surrey, some vendors have resorted to “travelling” firework sales in an effort to unload their product. The “travelling” fireworks sales people advertise via social media and meet with clients to make the sale. Often the customer turns out to be a City of Surrey By-Law Enforcement officer who then promptly issues the illegal fireworks vendor fines of up to $750. When appropriate, Surrey RCMP will also issue a Violation Ticket under the Explosives Act.
Fireworks in the City of Surrey can only be discharged with a Fire Department permit and a Federal Fireworks Supervisor certificate. Since the City implemented the Fireworks By-Law in 2005 there has been a dramatic decrease in fires caused by fireworks. In 2004, there was a high of 40 fireworks related fires, but since the introduction of the Fireworks By-Law there has been only an average of 3 fireworks related fires per year.
To ensure a safe and fun Halloween for families and trick-or-treaters here a few simple tips to keep in mind:
* Make sure trick-or-treaters don’t criss-cross roads and only cross at marked intersections.
* Carry a flashlight or glow-stick to make yourself and children more visible.
* Use LED lights instead of candles in your jack-o-lanterns.
* Decorations should be kept away from heat sources.
* Don’t overload electrical cords and power-bars.
* “Fake” swords, knives and guns part of your costume? Make sure they look fake, but remember some people still may not be able to tell the difference.
* Talk to your children about being ‘street smart’ before they go out on their own, or better yet, have an adult or older sibling accompany them.
* Bring your treats home and inspect them before eating them. Many children suffer from allergies and all spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items should be thrown out.