Updates from Duty Commissioner, South Cambridgeshire District Council
At this stage (15 October 2020), no national advice has been given on the tradition of trick or treating but please bear in mind that some people, especially those who have health problems and are vulnerable, may not be happy to have people calling on them.
The passing of sweets at the doorstep will be harder to do whilst maintaining a social distance and many hands dipping into a pot of sweets is going to increase the risk of transmission.
That doesn’t mean that people can’t enjoy Halloween. There are plenty of online articles with suggestions for alternative Halloween entertainment, such as pumpkin trails, spooky walks, craft activities and safe ways to leave treats out for people to collect.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has published guidance about safely marking Bonfire night during the pandemic. The emergency services are preparing for a busier night than usual because of the cancellation of many organised public events leading to more people having displays and bonfires in their own gardens.
Head of Community Fire Safety, Group Commander Per Middleton has urged caution, saying: “While most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, they can quickly become a disaster and, in the wrong hands, they can cause injury and damage to property. Fireworks are explosives and should be treated with respect. Only use fireworks in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the firework safety code, ensuring all necessary safety precautions are taken.”
He added: “We would strongly discourage people from lighting bonfires in back gardens as they present significant risks to residents if they get out of hand. Not only this, but the smoke can also aggravate coronavirus symptoms for those that might be shielding or isolating.”
If you intend on buying fireworks for a home display, please follow the firework safety code:
- Only buy fireworks marked with a CE mark
- Don't drink alcohol if you're setting off fireworks
- Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
- Light them at arm’s-length using a taper and stand well back
- Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn't gone off, it could still explode
- Never throw fireworks, and never put them in your pocket
- Respect your neighbours – don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws in place you must follow
- Take care with sparklers – never give them to children under five. Even when they've gone out, they can still be hot, so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use.
Pets find the noise of fireworks very stressful and are best kept indoors throughout the evening - and why not turn on some music to mask the noise? In a recent survey, 62 per cent of dog owners and 54 per cent of cat owners reported that their pets show signs of distress during fireworks season. The RSPCA’s Bang Out Of Order campaign encourages the responsible use of fireworks and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.
Posted by Little Gransden Parish Clerk