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Message from Meath Fire and Rescue this Halloween - Meath Fire and Rescue Service urges families to stay safe this Halloween

Date Released: 22 October 2018

Meath Fire & Rescue Service urges families to stay safe this Halloween

 

Meath County Fire and Rescue Service are appealing to the public not to supply waste materials for Halloween bonfires. It is also asking that the Council be alerted to the hoarding of combustible materials ahead of this year’s festivities, these include pallets, tyres and old furniture. It is a criminal offence to give waste to a collector who doesn’t have a waste collection permit and the uncontrolled burning of waste is also illegal.

 

The response of the fire service to bonfire related incidents and clearing up after them comes at a cost to Meath County Council, which could be better used for essential services. Meath Chief Fire Officer, Sheila Broderick stated “Halloween is one of the busiest times of the year for the fire services. People need to realise the danger they are putting themselves and their children in by contributing to or attending an illegal bonfire. The burning of highly flammable materials is unpredictable and can lead to serious injury or even death” Bonfires are often built close to homes and other properties, which, as well as threatening the building, pose personal safety risks.

 

“We are also asking people to report the hoarding of materials for bonfires. By doing this, you are not ruining children’s Halloween fun but preventing them from sustaining serious injuries. Bonfires are illegal and dangerous and we are urging the people of Meath to stay safe this Halloween.”

 

Meanwhile, the fire service is also advising that it is illegal to possess fireworks or bangers without a permit, even those which were bought legally outside of the State. The only exception is where a professional fireworks display is authorised under licence.

 

Meath Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Éanna Ó Conghaile commented that most fireworks-related injuries are to the hand and are caused by children holding lit bangers / fireworks for too long. “Many of the illegal fireworks that are offered for sale have not passed any safety tests and could cause serious damage to users, especially children. Every year young people end up tragically injured and often scarred for life after using illegal fireworks. This includes extensive damage to children’s eyes and hands, including burns and amputations. Parents should make sure their children do not play with fireworks.” It is important that parents explain the dangers of illegal bonfires and fireworks to their children and teenagers. There are many local events offering safe fun ways to celebrate Halloween including the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival http://spiritsofmeath.ie/

 

 

The Fire Service offers the following tips for a safe Halloween 2018:
•    Report hoarded pallets, tyres and old furniture to Meath County Council 1890 228466/ 046-9097200
•    Do not leave material lying around that may be taken for use in a bonfire. Garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, batteries, tins of paint, bottles and tyres are especially dangerous if set on fire.
•    Businesses and householders should not provide materials for bonfires.
•    Do not facilitate illegal bonfires or firework displays on or near your home or property.
•    Explain the dangers of illegal bonfires and fireworks to children and teenagers.
•    Keep pets indoors on Halloween night – they are sensitive to noise.
•    Respect the work of the Emergency Services, Local Authority Staff and the Gardaí.
•    Contact the Fire and Rescue Service by calling 999 or 112 if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas.

 

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