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First responders warn of fake weapons used this Halloween

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Increased patrols in the Granville Entertainment District

Must have a permit to light fireworks

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you plan on dressing up and heading out to celebrate Halloween this weekend, local police, firefighters and paramedics want you to be careful if you’re with or without kids.

“We want drivers to also slow down and pay attention. We’re going to have lots of kids out all weekend long, not just on Halloween night. These parties that go on throughout the weekend and community celebrations — kids are going to be excited and they particularly be looking for vehicles, they’re looking for treats,” explains VPD Constable Jason Doucette.

He stresses it’s key to slow down and pay extra attention. “We keep taking about distracted driving, but especially on this weekend, we’re asking you to leave your phone alone. If you have to put it out of sight, put it in your trunk, it doesn’t matter to us, just don’t be distracted and driving,” adds Doucette.

Safety Tips

  • 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

 

The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend which means a lot of people out and about and specifically in the Granville Entertainment District. Police say they’ll have increased patrols and they also want to remind you to ensure any fake weapons, that may be part of your costume, are easily identifiable as being fake.

“If we get a phone call reporting a person with a weapon, we have to treat that weapon as real until we can prove otherwise. So, save yourself some grief, save us some grief and put it away until you get to your destination.”

Without providing specific statistics, Doucette adds every year they see a jump in 911 calls. “If you see anything suspicious, anything that’s just not feeling right for you, please don’t just attribute it to Halloween, take the whole scenario into consideration. If you feel that it’s worth of a phone call to the police then we’re encouraging you to do that.”

Fireworks safety

You’re only allowed to light fireworks on Halloween night and it has to be on private property, meaning, you can’t go to a park and set them off. If you do and you’re caught, the fine could run you $500 or more.

“Those who wish to use fireworks in the City of Vancouver need a permit that’s available for free on the city’s website. They need to be 19 years of age and they need to present that permit and proof of age at an authorized retailer,” says Vancouver Fire Captain Jonathan Gormick.

He says every year they’re called out to handle serious injuries that are the result of someone setting fireworks but who didn’t read the instructions beforehand. “Wear the proper protective equipment while they use fireworks, safety glasses, non-combustible gloves [and] learn whether it has to be placed in sand, on concrete and which end faces the audience.”