Parents and young people need to be extra vigilant in relation to personal safety during the Hallowe'en period, according to Fermoy and Mitchelstown Fire Services.
Each year, Accident & Emergency departments are filled with children who receive horrific and painful injuries as a result of the misuse of fireworks and bonfires.
With Halloween fast approaching, the fire safety officers in Mitchelstown and Fermoy want people to be aware of the dangers that the occasion can bring and the injuries and deaths that might occur. They are issuing the following advice:
Bonfires are a big part of Hallowe'en and often contain highly combustible materials that can cause breathing problems and severe burns. Hallowe'en and the preceding weekend are the busiest time of the year for the fire services. We would urge parents to make sure that their children do not attend unsupervised bonfires.
Fireworks are effectively illegal in Ireland – the exception being licensed, professional firework display companies. Most of the illegal fireworks and bangers on sale in markets and from street traders throughout the country are sub-standard and liable to cause injury.
Illegal fireworks are manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious damage to children. Parents should monitor their children and ensure they do not play with fireworks. Every year children end up tragically injured and often scarred for life.
Cllr Deirdre O’Brien expressed her concerns for any anti-social behaviour which might occur in Mitchelstown over the Hallowe'en period, especially with respect to bonfires, in light of the happenings of last year.
She asked that a community based approach be taken, through being vigilant and working together with the local Authority, Gardaí and relevant community groups to ensure a safe and happy period is enjoyed by all.