Penticton Fire Department chief Larry Watkinson advises against using fireworks on Halloween this year. (Jenna Cocullo / Black Press Media)

Penticton Fire Department chief Larry Watkinson advises against using fireworks on Halloween this year. (Jenna Cocullo / Black Press Media)

How to not get blown up or catch COVID-19 this Halloween in Penticton

Halloween amid a pandemic will present a handful of unique challenges

The Penticton Fire Department is cautioning residents to stay safe ahead of what promises to be a very unique Halloween.

On top of fireworks and the other various safety concerns that occur on Halloween night, residents also have COVID-19 to worry about.

READ MORE: Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Residential use of fireworks is illegal in the province of British Columbia without a permit, explained Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson.

Watkinson doesn’t expect many people to be out lighting off fireworks this year, but he said it has posed problems in the past.

“Those ones you buy on the side of the road are still illegal and they’re dangerous,” said Watkinson. “They’re unknown, they’re not coming from a guaranteed supplier and they’re produced in non-certified facilities.

“I’ve sadly had to respond to children with their hands blown off.”

With fireworks out of the question and many questions remaining about how to safely trick-or-treat during a pandemic, Watkinson says Halloween in 2020 will be uniquely challenging.

If families do choose to participate in trick-or-treating, it’s imperative that they do so only with groups from inside their bubble and maintain a safe distance from candy givers, said Watkinson. He also said this year parents should always be present with trick-or-treaters, even older children. “If you’re going to put your kids out there they need to be well lit and masked up,” said the fire chief.

Traditional Halloween masks, such as a plastic mask, should be worn with a proper face covering underneath.

When it comes to Halloween parties, Watkinson’s advice was pretty simple: “Don’t.”

“We’ve done really well in Penticton when it comes to our response to COVID… and I think a lot of that has to do with our youth,” said Watkinson. “Our youth have been highly disciplined, even our grad parties and all that stuff was really pinned down.”

Other ways to ensure you and your kids stay safe this Halloween include:

  • Check your candy at home to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with
  • Drivers should be aware and extra cautious of children on the roads at night
  • If you use fireworks or have a bonfire, do it safely: don’t light fireworks from your hands and make sure they are a safe distance from any properties or grassy fields
  • Dress children in bright clothing for visibility

READ MORE: B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Halloween

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gifts are being collected for the 50th annual Operation Santa Claus gift drive. New unwrapped items may be dropped off at the Summerland Review or McBain Insurance in Summerland. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Gifts collected for Summerland’s Operation Santa Claus

Summerland Review and McBain Insurance working on 50th annual holiday gift drive

(Phil Mclachlan - Western News file)
Emergency crews responding to overturned boat on Okanagan Lake

The boat, reported near Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, had two occupants

Sickle Point as seen from the air. (Kaleden Community Association - David Mai)
Efforts to save Sickle Point down to the wire

The riparian wetland is in the middle of a court-ordered sale

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
Two Fraser Valley churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penticton law courts
Osoyoos child sex offender in court

Shawn Titus, 37, is charged with possession of child porn

Leighton Allen Labute faces charges of animal abuse and allegedly has a string of social media accounts depicting disturbing content.
Accused Kelowna hamster killer has trial date set for 2021

Leighton Labute’s three day trial is scheduled for Aug. 16, 2021

(File)
Christmas break extended for UBCO students

Move made to support mental health of students, accommodate ‘overload’ of work

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Gas prices take a hike in Vernon on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Gas going up in North Okanagan

Prices jumping more than 10 cents at some stations

Kelowna firefighters on scene of an apartment fire on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
Firefighters tend to apartment blaze along Gordon Drive

Two dogs were found safe inside the unit

Most Read