Halloween and bonfire night
The period around Halloween and bonfire night is traditionally a busy one for many public services, and the emergency services in particular.
For the police, the main issue is a perceived or actual rise in anti-social behaviour incidents both in the run up to and during the key dates of celebration.
For the fire service, there is a greater public expectation on them to provide additional fire safety advice at this time of year, even though actual incident numbers tend to remain low.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed things in two important ways though:
- Public services usually ask people to attend organised displays, but with that not an option this year there’s a greater risk of people holding their own celebrations. This could lead to an increase in fires, firework related injuries and localised anti-social behaviour
- Many of the activities traditionally associated with this period- such as firework displays, trick or treating, parties and other social gatherings all risk unnecessarily spreading Covid-19 between households at a time when cases of the virus are rising exponentially
A clear and consistent approach to public messaging around this period is therefore vital.
Trick or treating
- Trick or treating during a pandemic is a bad idea as it risks unnecessarily spreading Covid-19 between households
- Keep children entertained instead by holding a Halloween party within your household, making decorations or carving pumpkins to place in your back garden
- If you want to discourage unnecessary visitors, avoid putting decorations and pumpkins in your windows
Fireworks and bonfires
- We’d rather people didn’t have garden bonfires at all- but if you insist on having them, make sure they are sited well away from buildings, sheds and trees and never use petrol to get them going
- Never go back to a lit firework and make sure you only use CE marked fireworks
- It’s remains against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on Bonfire Night when the cut off is midnight
- As well as being against the law, deliberate fire setting can cause life-changing damage to you, or others
- Do you know where your kids are during the bonfire period? Playing with fire can destroy a child’s life, don’t let it be yours
- The police remain committed to enforcing the law where individuals or businesses continue to defy Covid-19 restrictions in line with current tier levels and restrictions around gatherings
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Where to seek help – Community Hub
Rotherham Community Hub is still open to help vulnerable people across Rotherham during the coronavirus outbreak. The Council is continuing to work alongside Rotherham’s voluntary, community and faith groups to support people in need across the borough.
The Hub can support with:
- essential shopping
- tackling loneliness and isolation by being a friendly voice on the other end of the phone
- prescription collection
- dog walking
- advice and signposting to support services
- signposting to food banks
Call: 01709 807 319
Go online: www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus