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

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in the former Kal Tire location in Salmon Arm now has its own truck as well as ‘opening soon’ signs on the building. (Photo contributed)
Salmon Arm ReStore looking for volunteers as setup to begin

Stocking shelves expected to start within two weeks, soft opening in April

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Fire crews are on scene in the 400 block of Fourth Avenue SE at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 as smoke billows from a residential building. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. (Jim Elliot - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm firefighters respond to smoke in a building on Fourth Avenue SE

Crews were called to the scene at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24

The District of Sicamous announced plans to purchase and manage the Sicamous Medical Centre on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Colleen Anderson and Malcolm Makayev have been overseeing this and other health matters on behalf of the district’s council. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous to purchase retiring doctor’s business, take over management

Move intended to attract new doctors by allowing them to focus on patient care

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read