We love this time of year ... Kids dressing up in their favourite scare-wear for Halloween and young and old alike looking forward to the fun and spectacle of Bonfire Night. We also know the risks associated with fancy dress costumes, naked flames and fireworks.

To make sure you keep yourself and others as safe as possible, we asked West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and Amanda Patience, our Wheatley store colleague and trained volunteer fire fighter, for their top tips to stay safe at this time of year:

  • Use LED lights – they give the same effect as candles and are much safer!
  • If you’re taking little ones trick or treating be careful of neighbours’ decorations and any candle-lit pumpkins on the ground.
  • Make sure costumes have the CE mark to show they have been tested to British Standards, and look out for any further testing methods that have been used to make your items as safe as possible.
  • If you’re being super creative and making your own costume, resist the temptation to make it too floaty and make sure the hem is well away from the ground.
  • If you and your little ones will be waving sparklers around, don’t forget to wear gloves – this adds extra protection to our hands just in case the sparkles jump. Do not use in crowded spaces, give yourself plenty of room and keep at arm’s length away from your body, they get very hot! Dispose of in a bucket of water or sand.
  • If you're inviting friends and family round and letting off fireworks in your garden, make sure you buy the fireworks from a reputable retailer and that they have appropriate CE markings.
  • Take one firework out of the box at a time and store loose fireworks safely, keep fireworks away from sources of heat or ignition and never light more than one at a time.
  • Make sure you follow the instructions very carefully and cordon off the area where the fireworks will be lit. We’d also recommend keeping your pets inside, it’s the safest option for them and yourselves.
  • If you're popping down to your local fireworks display be aware of the cordoned areas and remind children not to go beyond those points, keep young children under supervision at all times. In the unlikely event that a serious incident does occur, remember to stop, drop and roll. If a first aider is present allow them to treat any burns and take the person hurt straight to A&E.