A senior fire brigade officer has warned of the dangers of “unpredictable” fireworks and toxic bonfires this Halloween.
Dublin Fire Brigade Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Guilfoyle urged people to enjoy the celebrations responsibly as emergency services are stretched to breaking point.
And he warned fireworks are extremely unsafe and can explode at any time.
“Fireworks are illegal, they’re dangerous and they can really cause harm. “They’re not toys, so don’t buy them, don’t use them and don’t give them to others,” Mr Guilfoyle said.
“They’re illegal so they may not comply with any particular standards of manufacture so they can be very unpredictable and can explode early or late which can catch people out.”
Mr Guilfoyle also warned about the dangers of toxic smoke and debris from bonfires.
Speaking on The Anton Savage Show on Newstalk, he said: “Stay back from bonfires.
“You don’t know the contents of it and the smoke can be very toxic.
“There’s a risk of sparks and debris flying from the bonfire which can cause burns and ignite clothing and costumes.
“You have to bear in mind some costumes are rated as toys so they wouldn’t have to meet the [required safety] standards of normal clothing.”
The DFB assistant boss also warned parents to make sure all costumes are “CE marked” – meaning they meet safety standards.
Fire crews across the country are bracing for their busiest evening of the year tomorrow – and Mr Guilfoyle urged people not to engage in antisocial behaviour.
He said: “We really do have enough to do at an incident to resolve it safely and restore normality without the additional pressure of dealing with stuff like that.
“The peak demand during Halloween tends to concentrate from 6pm through to about 2am.
“There’s constant demand on the ambulance side and in addition then we obviously have demand for fire and normal emergencies such road accidents and domestic fires.
“We want the public to have fun and enjoy the evening.
“It’s a great event and hopefully it will be a safe event.”