It’s not a Halloween joke; it’s life threatening
Volunteer fire fighter Stephen Trail has a message for people who purposely set fires on Halloween night: for the sake of all volunteer fire fighters and their families -- please don’t!
Arson puts real people in real danger.
Trail and his wife Jessica have three children, aged four, 12 and 14. The kids notice that their dad usually needs to spend Halloween night at the fire station, instead of with them. They have already started worrying about his safety.
“Around October 30, the kids start asking and worrying,” Trail said. “At their age they start to realize the dangers.”
Trail, who has been a Tignish fire fighter for 16 years, said that arson on Halloween has become such a problem that he and his 19 fellow volunteer fire fighters have started staffing the station all night, and bringing in food for a potluck. “We make the best of a crappy situation,” he said.
Fighting any fire wears a fire fighter down.
"People don’t realize how taxing it is for fire departments. We can get a call at any time that actually means something and you’re really tired from fighting nuisance fires.”
Last year, for example, Trail said his department fought a nuisance fire on an abandoned property on Halloween and then they had to turn around and fight another fire throughout the next day.
“We were all worn out,” he said.
He says it’s often the uncertainty of the nature of any fire that is frightening. “You don’t know what’s in there; it could be an acetylene bomb or a can of something that could explode in your face,” he said. “You’re going into the unknown all the time.”
Arson puts fire fighters and communities at risk. Start a conversation in your community about these dangers, so everyone knows that arson is not a prank. Fires put lives at risk.
A strong adult presence in communities can also deter mischief. It could be as simple as strolling around the neighborhood with kids while they are trick-or-treating, or keeping an eye out from your front porch. If you see any suspicious activity, call 911.