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School visits to share Halloween and Bonfire Night safety messages

Jo Gouldson visits children at Finedon Infant School

A series of school visits have been carried out by police and fire officers across Northamptonshire in a bid to share safety messages ahead of Halloween and Bonfire Night.

The visits form part of Operation Pumpkin, a programme of work in the community, by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) and Northamptonshire Police, to help keep people safe during this season of celebrations.

One recent visit was carried out this week at Finedon Infant School, where Community Safety Officer Jo Gouldson (NFRS) delivered a talk on Halloween and firework safety to children as young as five.

The talk dealt with subjects ranging from trick or treat safety to the emergency actions (stop, drop and roll) which should be taken if clothing catches fire.

Jo Gouldson said: “It is always a pleasure to come in and see the children. Halloween and Bonfire Night are lovely celebrations which we want children to enjoy and to remember for the right reasons so we hope that, through delivering these talks, we can help keep young people a little bit safer and make them think more about the potential dangers and how to avoid them.”

Felicity Pettitt, Assistant Headteacher at Finedon Infant School, said: “It is essential for the children to hear these messages because they need to know what precautions to take to be safe and to understand the dangers they need to be aware of out in the community. It is an added bonus that the messages can be delivered and reinforced by Jo and the fire service.
“We have a mixture of children who go trick or treating and those who don’t. All of the children, love this time of year, so it is a great opportunity to embed the general safety messages for when they are out and about during other times.
“Jo comes in to teach the children about fire safety and to talk about fire in the home, road and water safety. The children love to see her and hear what she has to say, they feel that they know her now and she has a great rapport with them, which helps in encouraging them to understand important safety messages and take them seriously.”

Top tips for Halloween:

1) Keep clear of all flames such as candles and lit pumpkins, which could cause costumes to catch fire or cause burns.
2) Be careful how you dress on Halloween. Homemade costumes and some costumes bought in shops can be flammable.
3) Plan your trick or treat route beforehand. Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents. Always go in groups.
4) When trick or treating, children should stay in well-lit areas and should never go without an adult.
5) If you are crossing a road, look left and right and listen carefully. Be aware of traffic when crossing.
6) If clothing catches fire, remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL. STOP where you are. Do not run. DROP to the ground. Lie down flat. ROLL over and over on the ground until the flames are out.
7) If using candles, make sure they are out when you leave the room. Never leave children alone with candles.
8) Do not use real candles in lanterns and pumpkins, use battery operated lights.
9) Don’t wear masks that restrict your vision, you need to see clearly when crossing roads.

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