Halloween safety is a very important issue, especially for a residential community like the City of Westmount. With children of all ages crisscrossing our streets on the night of October 31, it is vital to remember that Halloween safety is everyone’s responsibility.
The Public Safety Department has put together a comprehensive safety programme that emphasizes security, while ensuring that kids are able to go out and enjoy themselves on Halloween night. Representatives of the department will be touring Westmount schools throughout late October with important safety tips for kids. Public Safety officers also increase patrols on Halloween night, keeping a close eye on trick-or-treaters.
Safety Tips for a Safe Halloween
Halloween is a great reason to get out and have some fun, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Follow the tips below to make sure you have an exciting and safe Halloween night.
- Visit people you know. NEVER ENTER A STRANGER’S HOME OR APARTMENT without an adult.
- Never trick-or-treat alone. Young children should be accompanied by an adult or a responsible older child. Older children should trick-or-treat in groups.
- Never eat anything until you have returned home and the treats have been examined by an adult. Cut and wash fruit before eating. Throw away anything unwrapped.
- Carry some identification with your name, telephone number and address, in case you get lost.
- Trick-or-treat only at houses where lights are turned on, not at darkened ones.
- Wear reflective or bright coloured clothing so motorists may easily spot you.
- If you are wearing a mask as part of your costume, enlarge the eyeholes to so that you can see more easily. Better yet, wear make-up instead of a mask.
- Costumes should be designed in a way so that they will not inhibit your ability to move around
- Learn the police phone number and your own phone number. Carry enough money to use a payphone or bring along a cellular phone, in case of emergency.
- Cross the street at well-lit intersections and crosswalks. Never jaywalk or cross the street from between parked cars. It’s dangerous and illegal.
- Halloween safety is everyone’s responsibility. Help your kids have a safe Halloween by following these handy tips.
- Ensure that young children are accompanied by an adult or a responsible older child. Children should never trick-or-treat alone.
- Give your children small trick-or-treat bags that will fill up quickly. This will speed their return home.
- Be aware of which friends your children will be with and which route they are taking.
- Go over this tip sheet with your children, and make sure they understand it.
Due to a dramatic increase in reports of vandalism, graffiti and substance abuse infractions in municipal parks, the City of Westmount adopted curfew in all parks in June 2007. Parks in Westmount are closed to the public nightly from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.The curfew regulations are included in By-law 1350, an amendment to By-law 69 concerning parks.
The Tobacco Act, which came into effect across Quebec on May 31, 2006, put stringent limits on smoking in the province. Smoking inside restaurants and bars was made illegal, while smoking outside within a 9-meter radius from the entrance of a public building (e.g. Arena, hospital, or learning institution) was forbidden. The ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux has 50-70 inspectors to enforce the regulations across Quebec.
Residents and business owners who witness a violation of the Tobacco Act are encouraged to report it to the Public Safety Department immediately. The department can be contacted 24 hours a day at 514 989-5222. For more information on the Tobacco Act, please contact the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux at 1 877 416-TABA (8222).
Keep Wildlife Wild: A hands-off approach to wildlife in Westmount
Nestled on the side of Mount Royal, the City of Westmount is fortunate to have access to significant pockets of local wildlife, just steps away from the busy downtown core of Montreal. With this close access to nature comes a responsibility to preserve the delicate natural balance. We must all work together to keep wildlife wild.
Feeding wildlife is illegal in Westmount
Westmount does have municipal legislation that prohibits the feeding of wild animals (By-law 1475) to prevent problems such as those outlined below. An infraction can result in a fine of at least $50 for a first offence, and at least $100 for a second or subsequent offence.
Feeding wildlife: A kind gesture, but it hurts more than it helps
Many people enjoy feeding wildlife because it brings them in close contact with nature. They also believe that by providing wild animals with an alternate food source, they are helping them survive. Unfortunately, feeding wildlife hurts them more that it helps.
- Foraging Skills: Feeding wildlife diminishes their foraging skills. When young wild animals begin to rely on humans for food, they become less skilled in foraging. This can put their survival at risk when the alternate source of food is no longer available. In some instances, certain types of food left for wild animals can cause disease or injury.Natural food sources are plentiful throughout the community and provide better nutrition than food intended for human consumption
- Increased Litter Sizes: Feeding wildlife can lead to increased litter sizes, in excess of what natural food sources could support, as the reliance on alternate food sources escalates.
- Risks To Humans: Feeding wildlife can prevent animals from being wary of people and may cause them to become a nuisance or even a danger to humans. Food left out for wildlife can in fact result in increasing the risk of attracting rodents.
Nature, for everyone to enjoy
We certainly want and encourage you to enjoy the various types of wildlife that live in our community, but a happy coexistence with our four-legged friends is critical to their health and to ours.
Questions or comments?
Should you have any questions regarding wildlife in Westmount, please contact the Public Safety Department.