Safer Seasons: Autumn

With Halloween and Bonfire Night taking place in Autumn, here's some useful information on keeping yourself and others safe while enjoying these autumnal events.


Our Safer Seasons information aims to encourage our communities to have a safe and happy Autumn – helping promote firework safety and tackle anti-social behaviour.

Autumn can be an enjoyable season of spooky scares, fireworks fun, pumpkin carving, costumes, ghost stories, sparklers and bonfire treats.

Unfortunately for some, the season can be one of unwelcome surprises and trick or treat visits can be a time they feel uneasy about and even come to dread.

The elderly, military veterans (who may particularly fear some loud noises), other vulnerable people, pet owners, and even families with very young children often find Halloween and Bonfire Night bring upset and worry.

Therefore, it is important for Halloween and Bonfire Night revellers to be mindful and have respect for others, being aware of how their ‘fun’ night out can affect others.


Happy Halloween!

The period around Halloween and Bonfire Night is a time associated with parties and family fun, but for some it can be a very frightening time of year.

Many individuals can be left frightened and intimidated by youngsters calling at their home and asking for ‘Trick or Treat’.

To help people feel safe in their homes the Community Safety and Wellbeing team have designed a poster for people to display in their homes over the Halloween period.

Hard copies are available in all West Sussex libraries for customers to take home or you can download a copy below.

Trick or Treat Poster

If you need more copies or would like any further information please contact

While this poster should help to deter unwanted callers, there are other things you can do which can also help minimise any upset:

1. Use a spy hole or window to check who is at your door before answering.

2. Don’t open your door to anyone you don’t know.

3. Arrange for a friend or relative to visit on Halloween so you have some company. Possibly enjoy Halloween as a group? Think about asking family members, elderly friends and neighbours whether they want to participate in celebrations from one of your homes or at a community event by helping to decorate, maybe dress up and hand out treats.

4. If you must open your door, put on a safety chain first, if possible.

5. If you have taken part, BUT have run out of sweets and goodies to give to visitors, put a sign on your door that says “Sorry, no more treats”.

6. Keep your front door area and hallway well lit, and if you wish to use candle light please use flameless LED tea lights and candles as they’re much safer and don’t present the same fire risk.

7. Keep your front door area clear to avoid anyone tripping or hurting themselves.

8. If your child is planning to go out during the Halloween or Bonfire period make sure you know where they are and how to contact them.

9. And if things do get out of hand, you can report a crime online at or call 101.

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night

To have a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night:

  • Please go to organised events. Here is a list of some of the organised events across West Sussex and the local area...
West Sussex Bonfire Nights
  • If you do have a firework display at home please follow the fireworks code
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix
  • Anti-social behaviour, illegal bonfires and misuse of fireworks have serious consequences and will not be tolerated
  • To report bonfire problems or illegal bonfires contact your local District or Borough council
  • For personal health reasons it may be better to enjoy fireworks displays from inside if you suffer from any heart conditions or respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis
  • If you agree to attend a fire work display, you may wish to take ear defenders for noise sensitive, elderly friends and young children, so they can enjoy the fireworks without being frightened by the loud bangs
  • Remember to wrap up warm and don’t suffer in silence if you are uncomfortable or scared at any point during an event
  • The posters below can be downloaded and displayed in places such as village halls, community centres and scout huts to help promote a safe bonfire and to remind young people the risk posed through the misuse of fireworks
  • All retailers of fireworks must display the Retailers Notice poster below. Full details regarding the sale of fireworks can be found via this story.
Firework Safety Firework Safety Awareness Retailers Notice



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