LIMERICK Fire and Rescue service is appealing to parents to be vigilant during next week’s Halloween celebrations.
A particular warning has been issued in relation to the use of candles by young children who may be wearing Halloween costumes which are home-made or made of materials which are not fire retardant.
“While a lot of children will be wearing outfits which have been bought in shops, some may be wearing home-made costumes while others may be using black plastic bags and face paints – all of which are highly flammable,” said Seamus Barrett, Assistant Chief Fire Officer.
Parents are also being encouraged not to allow children approach bonfires and to use torches or LED lights instead of candles when out trick or treating on Tuesday night.
Mr Barrett says that parents and young people should also familiarise themselves with the “drop and roll” technique of putting out a fire if a Halloween costume does catch fire.
“People should know what to do and dropping to the ground and rolling while protecting you face is the best way of extinguishing the flames,” he said.
Limerick Fire and Rescue Service says crews will be on standby across the city and county to respond to any emergency calls on Tuesday night – particularly where there is a risk to people’s safety or to property.
Crews from Limerick City and County Council will be deployed in the coming days in an effort to prevent domestic waste being used as material for large bonfires.
Meanwhile, gardai are warning people not to use illegal fireworks or bangers.
“Fireworks are extremely dangerous, each year many children suffer terrible injuries from fireworks including burns, loss of limbs and serious eye injuries.
“Fireworks also cause great distress and annoyance to residents but especially to elderly residents.
“They set off intruder alarms causing unnecessary extra demands to be place on garda resources,” said Sergeant Ber Leetch, divisional crime prevention officer.
Gardai have also appealed to retailers not to sell large quantities of eggs to youths between now and Halloween in an effort to reduce antisocial behaviour.
It follows a number of incidents during which eggs were thrown at cars and other vehicles by gangs of youths.
In one incident in Annacotty on Monday night, a woman lost control of the car she was driving after it was targeted while she was on the way home from work.
Gardai say the woman was not injured and that her car sustained minor damage in the incident.