Parents warned on bonfires

Householders and parents have been urged to take safety precautions ahead of any bonfires or fireworks for this week’s Halloween celebrations.

The Chief Fire Officers Association has confirmed that crews across Ireland responded to more than 500 bonfire-related incidents last year, which cost over €600,000, including clean-up operation afterwards.

The association is urging businesses and members of the public not to supply any waste material to persons who do not hold a valid waste collection permit.

Chairman Seamus Murphy said: “Bonfires are often built close to houses and other property, presenting risks to personal safety and property. Halloween is one of the busiest times of the year for the fire services, and responding to bonfire call-outs creates a strain on existing resources.

“I would like people to be aware of the fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or death.”

A spokesperson for the association added: “Parents should monitor their children and ensure they do not play with fireworks. Throughout the country, every year, children end up tragically injured, and often scarred for life, after using illegal fireworks.”

The Irish Fire and& Emergency Services Association, warned about the rise in attacks on fire, ambulance, and Garda personnel at this time of year. “Such attacks have seriously injured crews in the past and have seen emergency vehicles taken off the road for repairs which results in a reduction in emergency cover in the area affected.”

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