Halloween safety is everyone's job

Posted: 
Thursday, October 26, 2017

The following is released by the province of Prince Edward Island's Department of Justice and Public Safety.

Halloween can be fun for everyone if safety is top of mind.

While Prince Edward Island law enforcement will be on patrol on Halloween next Tuesday (October 31) to keep Islanders safe, they are also reminding everyone about steps they can take. These include watching out for trick or treaters, driving sober, and reporting malicious fires by calling 9-1-1.

“We can all play a part in keeping our communities safe. Drivers need to slow down and be aware of the increased number of young pedestrians on Island streets over the weekend and on Halloween,” said Charlottetown Police Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan. “There are so many young people out after dark that drivers must take extra precautions, especially in neighbourhoods. Drivers should eliminate distractions like cell phones so they can react quickly if needed.”

Trick-or-treaters should always venture out with an adult and:

  • make sure that masks have large-enough eye holes to ensure good peripheral vision so kids can look both ways before crossing the street;
  • have a flashlight or glow stick to be more visible to traffic; and
  • avoid costumes with long, trailing fabric that can cause kids to trip and are a fire hazard.

Although Halloween is on a Tuesday this year, many Islanders will start their celebrations the weekend before. UPEI Security Services manager Mark Pharand tells Islanders to party responsibly.

"We encourage all adults, and especially UPEI students, to follow responsible drinking tips like drinking slowly, having a non-alcoholic drink for each alcoholic drink, and having a plan for getting home safely,” said Pharand. “The risk of car accidents and accidental overdose increases when alcohol is combined with other drugs. If you have drugs and/or alcohol in your system, you should not be driving.”

Malicious and nuisance fires during the Halloween season endanger people and property and these unnecessary and dangerous fires put first responders at risk. If Islanders see any suspicious activity, they should call 911.

“Arson puts real people in real danger and it ties up valuable lifesaving resources that could be needed elsewhere,” said RCMP S/Sgt. Kevin Baillie. “Start a conversation in your community and households about these dangers, so everyone knows that arson is not a prank. A strong adult presence in communities can deter mischief; it could be as simple as walking with your kids while they are trick-or-treating or keeping an eye out from your front porch.”

More than 200 police officers serve Prince Edward Island with the RCMP and three municipal police departments – Charlottetown, Summerside, and Kensington -- in addition to specialized policing services provided by security police officers at UPEI and Prince Edward Island’s conservation officers.

Katie MacDonald
Department: 
PEI Department of Justice and Public Safety
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