Belfast Telegraph

Almost half of Halloween incidents involved deliberate fires

The fire service attended 127 incidents, a 7% decrease on the previous year, but said 42% involved deliberate fires.

Almost half of incidents attended by the fire service in Northern Ireland last Halloween were started deliberately, a group commander said (Peter Byrne/PA).
Almost half of incidents attended by the fire service in Northern Ireland last Halloween were started deliberately, a group commander said (Peter Byrne/PA).

By Michael McHugh, PA

Almost half of incidents attended by the fire service in Northern Ireland last Halloween were started deliberately, a group commander said.

The organisation attended 127 incidents, a 7% decrease on the previous year. 

It said 42% involved deliberate fires.

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) urged the community to be aware of potential fire hazards and to keep themselves safe while celebrating this Halloween.

Group commander Gerry Lennon said: “We are pleased to see a decrease in the number of incidents NIFRS attended last Halloween, but it is disappointing that nearly half of the incidents were deliberately set fires.

“Deliberate fires pose a serious risk to life, property and the environment and they put extra pressure on NIFRS resources which could result in a delay in getting to a real emergency.

“We are asking people not to engage in this type of anti-social behaviour.”

He said it was important to be aware of potential fire hazards while celebrating.

“Fireworks and sparklers are good fun at Halloween, but without proper supervision they can cause serious injury.

“To a young child, the heat from a sparkler is equivalent to the heat from a welding torch.

“Please ensure that fireworks and sparklers are used safely and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.”

PA

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