fireworks-arson-posterThe Vancouver Police Department is partnering with Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, BC Ambulance Service, and the Canadian National Fireworks Association to promote Halloween safety.

Extra officers will be out to deal with the higher volume of 9-1-1 calls seen at Halloween, providing a visible police presence in the Granville Entertainment District and added patrols near schools and parks.

We want to remind everyone to plan their ride home ahead of time if they are going to be consuming alcohol.

Costume weaponry has been an issue for police in past years, from replica handguns to hatchets and swords. We are asking people to use common sense and ensure their costume weapon of choice is readily identifiable as an imitation.

Things can go terribly wrong when fireworks are not used in a responsible manner, such as the arson that happened last night. Fire crews and police were called to a home on Woodland Drive near East 10th Avenue about 10:30 for a house fire believed to have been started from the careless use of fireworks. Two people living in the home were able to escape safely with the help of neighbours. A third resident was not home at the time.

There is extensive damage to the house and estimated costs to repair are believed to be about $500,000. Police do not believe the home was targeted or that the fire was intentionally set. Investigators want to speak with three people who were seen and heard running away and getting into a vehicle.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the VPD Arson Unit at (604) 717-2962 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.

Everyone is reminded that fireworks are only permitted on Halloween night. They must only be set off on private property, and you must have a permit to possess and light them. Roman candles, bottle rockets, and firecrackers are illegal.

Halloween Safety Tips from Vancouver Police

  • include reflective tape, glow sticks, flashlights or other articles that improve visibility
  • use face paint or make-up instead of a mask
  • younger kids should trick or treat with an adult
  • stay in well-lit areas
  • drivers are reminded to be patient and aware of the children who may be excited,
  • darting around neighbourhoods and not looking for cars