Safety first this Halloween

Nicole and Martin Dillon Lawrence, Oranmore, enjoying the Halloween Trick or Treat Party at The Ardilaun.

Nicole and Martin Dillon Lawrence, Oranmore, enjoying the Halloween Trick or Treat Party at The Ardilaun.

A lack of funding will see community warden patrols finish before dark on Halloween night, leaving bonfire safety to the Garda, and fire services, according to chairman of the joint policing committee, Councillor Padraig Conneely.

“The issue was raised at the joint rolicing committee and we have been assured that gardai will do everything to increase patrols in the city to eliminate illegal bonfires. Tyre companies will also be called to ensure they do not give out any old tyres, and if they do they will be prosecuted.”

Councillor Conneely has also appealed to suppliers of timber not to allow their materials to be given out for use in illegal bonfires.

He is calling on parents to be vigilant and to keep children away from bonfires; “Quite often when parents leave the site of a bonfire that is burning it can collapse and children may not be able to get out of the way.” said Conneely.

“I am however hoping that there are no illegal bonfires this year, as they cause a lot of damage to the area, and there is a high cost in clearing them up.”

Chief Fire Officer Michael Rafferty warns of the danger of bonfires and is asking the public to be extremely careful: “Bonfires must be at least 60 feet away from houses, buildings, and electricity lines, and we are asking people to show consideration to their neighbours, and people around them. Do not use petrol to light fires, use firelighters, also do not throw paint or batteries into the fire. All animals should be kept inside. Persons near a bonfire must not wear any lightweight or flammable clothing. We also ask that people do not use fireworks, they are illegal, and dangerous”

On a positive note Councillor Conneely concluded: “Halloween is a festive occasion, and I would encourage people to take part in the old age activities of calling to doors rather than attending illegal bonfires. It is a nice time for children and should be celebrated safely, and without injury.”


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