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Okanagan officials share Halloween safety tips

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Local officials share Halloween safety tips
Local officials have released some safety tips ahead of Halloween night. As our Taya Fast reports, RCMP are also warning the public over the use of fireworks and the danger they pose. – Oct 31, 2023

The spookiest day of the year is officially here, and trick-or-treaters are expected to fill streets across the Okanagan. And with that, local officials are sharing some tips to ensure everyone is safe this Halloween night.

“Safety’s number one. We have a bunch of littles that are going to be out there, they’re going to be excited,” said Kelowna RCMP Cst. Mike Della-Paolera.

“They’re going to be wearing costumes that are maybe not necessarily the safest costumes — they might be a little dark, not a lot of reflective materials on them — and they’re going to be running from house to house to house trying to get as much candy as they can.”

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RCMP is reminding drivers to be patient, slow down, and drive appropriately.

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Kelowna RCMP Const. Della-Paolera added that if you plan to consume alcohol or consume drugs, to not drive and instead plan a safe ride home.

“This is also a night where some people like to indulge in beverages, adult beverages, and we’re asking that you just be mindful again,” said Della-Paolera.

“We’ll have a full contingent of police officers, traffic safety officers out in the road working, bridging the whole neighbourhood, making sure that everybody safe. Roadblocks are always a possibility.”

For the trick-or-treaters, officials say that choosing the right costume can make a difference.

“Putting reflective material on your costumes, carrying a flashlight, anything that like that, that can show a driver at night, when it’s dark, that you’re around,” said Della-Paolera.

Additional safety tips from Kelowna RCMP:

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Trick-or-treaters:

  • Trick-or-treat with a group or an adult;
  • Only go to well-lit houses;
  • Have an adult inspect your treats before you eat them;
  • Cross the street at intersections or crosswalks and watch for vehicles;
  • Stay on sidewalks and pathways whenever possible.

Motorists:

  • Ensure that your vehicle lights are on as soon as dusk hits;
  • Be very careful backing up or exiting driveways;

Homeowners:

  • If you are welcoming trick-or-treaters, keep your home and doorway well-lit and your pathways clear;
  • Put away your valuables. Make sure your bikes, tools and outdoor toys are secured and out of sight;
  • Secure your property. Lock up your garage or shed, take all valuables out of your vehicles and lock the doors and windows of your house.’
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Penticton RCMP released some additional tips about costume safety.

Costume safety tips:

  • Make sure the costume is properly fitted to reduce the chance of tripping on it.
  • Select a costume that is constructed from flame-retardant materials.
  • Make sure your vision is not restricted. Consider completing your costume with make-up not masks.
  • Shoes should fit properly even if they do not go well with a costume.
  • Create a fun necklace with string and glow sticks to keep kids visible to cars. Or accessorize with a flashlight!
  • “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.

The Penticton RCMP had extra resources on patrol over the weekend and will also have extra resources on Halloween to deal with any public safety concerns and to ensure the community is kept safe.

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“We typically see an increase in calls for service on Halloween, including calls related to fireworks and firecrackers,” said Penticton RCMP Const. Kelly Brett in a press release.

“Please do your part and keep 911 reserved for emergency situations only.”

Meanwhile, many communities have banned the use fireworks including the City of Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton, unless licensed.

“We’ve just come through a horrible forest fire season. The ground is still dry; even though it’s cooler temperatures, there’s a lot of combustible material on the grounds, dried-up leaves from falling off and falling from the trees,” said Della-Paolera.

“We’re just asking people to be really mindful if you are going to use them, adult supervision but we recommend that you just don’t use fireworks this year.”

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And although Halloween night might be full of excitement for people, the SPCA is reminding residents that pets are safer inside, away from any frightening sounds and sights.

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“Do not leave them in your yard while you’re out or even if you’re home do not leave them in your yard because the fireworks are really scary. Their senses are heightened, and it causes them great distress,” said BC SPCA Protection and Stakeholders Relations Senior Officer Eileen Drever.

“Before the ghosts and the goblins come knocking on your door, we would suggest you put them in a safe place. For example, a secure room. With my dogs I have the TV on or radio just to keep them distracted.”

The SPCA adds that now is a good time to check if your pet’s identification is up to date just in case, they get spooked and run away.

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