Public Safety Minister Doug Currie is urging Islanders to make safety a priority this Halloween.
“Halloween is an exciting time of year for children and adults who have fun getting dressed up, attending parties or trick or treating,” said Minister Currie. “However, there is a scarier side to Halloween, and that is the unfortunate practice of setting malicious and nuisance fires, which can be very dangerous.”
Last year 35 malicious fires were set on the Halloween weekend – five involving homes or other buildings. The Provincial Fire Marshal`s Office is reminding Islanders that such practices can result in harsh punishment. Anyone who intentionally or recklessly causes damage by fire or explosion can be charged under the Criminal Code, regardless of whether the property is vacant or lived in. If the health, safety or property of another person is endangered, the offence can carry a prison term of up to 14 years. Arson can result in a prison term of up to 10 years, and possession of an explosive substance for the purpose of committing an offence may result in five years in jail.
“Volunteer firefighters are placed in unnecessary danger, and valuable life saving resources are tied up when fire services are called to respond to senseless fires,” said Minister Currie. “We certainly want Islanders throughout our One Island Community to enjoy Halloween, but I urge everyone to make safety a priority.”
Fire safety tips can be found at www.peipublicsafety.ca or by calling the Fire Marshal’s Office at 368-4869.