Nanaimo police offer tips for safe Halloween

NANAIMO – Bad costume design can be just as dangerous as fireworks, police warn.

Police in Nanaimo are warning drivers to watch out for little monsters on the roads and for parents to keep trick or treaters dressed and prepared for a safe night out.

Halloween should be a little scary and a lot of fun, not fraught with the terrifying aftermath of a serious injury.

On Halloween night hundreds of children will be sharing the roads with motor vehicles, so police are asking drivers to use extreme caution, especially during trick or treating prime time from 5-8 p.m.

Excited children can suddenly dash across roads with no regard for oncoming traffic, so it’s a good idea to slow down and be prepared to hit the brakes on short notice.

Parents are also asked to take the time to check over their child’s costume to make sure children can see clearly through masks, that costumes have reflective material, won’t be a tripping hazard and that kids are have proper footwear.

Parents should carry flashlights with extra batteries and never allow children to venture inside the homes of strangers.

If the front porch light is out on a home it usually means they are not handing out candy and it’s best to respect their wishes and not venture onto the property.

Don’t blow off safety tips when it comes to fireworks, either.

Since 2007 it has been illegal to possess, sell or set off fireworks in Nanaimo without a permit. The fine for breaking the bylaw is $200.

Officials credit the bylaw with reducing burn injuries and the number accidental fires each year, but for those putting on a backyard pyrotechnics show it’s a good idea to keep a hose handy and avoid setting off fireworks around dry grass or wooded areas.

Also be considerate of farms with horses and livestock, and neighbours with pets that can be frightened by fireworks.

Fireworks should only be handled by adults, too – sober ones.

Firecrackers – considered an explosive – are prohibited throughout B.C.