Halloween safety

by Dave Colgan

Confiscated Fireworks

Confiscated Fireworks

Every year we are told of the dangers of fireworks and unsupervised bonfires but year after year the warnings are ignored. The warnings are predominantly aimed at children and teenagers as they are the most affected group.

This year the Labour councillor for the Liberties area Rebecca Moynihan has appealed to the local community “not to use fireworks during Halloween unless you are in the company of a responsible adult and take as much care as possible”.

The Garda press office has issued a public warning on the illegal use of fireworks and a garda spokesman told the Liberty:  “All units of the gardaí have taken measures and are putting plans into effect to prevent the trade of fireworks and their use around the halloween season.”

According to Dr Patricia Eadie, clinical director of the burns unit at St James’s Hospital and consultant plastic surgeon, “Fireworks are always a cause for concern. Every year we have to treat children who have significant injuries caused by varying types of Halloween activities.”

It is also a very dangerous time for motorists as many children will be out at night trick or treating. The Road Safety Authority advises caution: ‘More children than usual are likely to be on the streets and roads in the early evening, dressed in dark costumes or wearing masks, making it difficult for them to see and be seen.”

Lastly, while bonfires can be a very enjoyable event when handled responsibly and by adults, they can also be very dangerous. Bonfires lit unsupervised on the diminishing green areas of the Liberties can ruin the soil. They can also prove a centre for antisocial behaviour. “Bonfires run by responsible adults and with a fire brigade on call can have a very positive effect and can be good for the community,” says Ms Moynihan. But the councillor urges people not to use fireworks or bonfires after the consumption of alcohol.

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