Home News Laois County Council Fire and Rescue Service launch Halloween appeal

Laois County Council Fire and Rescue Service launch Halloween appeal

Two people have been confirmed as dead after a house fire over night

Laois County Fire and Rescue Service are appealing to people to take care this Halloween.

This occurs on Saturday October 31 and the service has made an appeal to the communities they serve to watch over their loved ones around fireworks and bonfires this Halloween.

They say: “Bonfires and unauthorised fireworks displays are illegal in Ireland for a reason.

“Thousands of people throughout the Country over the years have seen the pain and suffering of friends and family members as a consequence of fireworks and bonfire displays that have gone horribly wrong.

“We encourage everyone to adhere to National COVID 19 guidelines in relation to “trick or treat” visits, parties and events and to follow the recommendations below to ensure that this time of celebration remains a safe time for all.”

Bonfires are illegal and, the fire service insist, should be avoided.

However, if they do occur, they have issued advice.

They say: “Where bonfires do occur they should be well clear of all residential areas and away from ESB cables and pylons.

“Ideally, the bonfire should be sited in a clear open space. It should be at a safe distance (preferably no less than 50 metres) from buildings, trees, wooden fences, overhead cables or car parking areas.

“The layout of the area should also take the direction of the wind into account so that the bonfire does not blow towards the spectators and sparks are not carried towards any combustible materials.

“A bonfire should be supervised by adults and a perimeter ring should be established around the bonfire within which no person should be permitted. Never use petrol/paraffin etc to light a bonfire,

“Do not allow fireworks to be thrown on bonfires – this is highly dangerous. The site should have a suitable entrance(s) for emergency service vehicles and kept clear of obstruction until the event is over.

“The bonfire should be kept to a manageable size and the maximum height should not normally exceed 3m.

“It should be evenly built so that it collapses inwards as it burns. Spectators should be kept a minimum distance of twice the height of the bonfire to minimise the chances of injury in the event of the bonfire collapsing.

“The bonfire should not contain any potentially hazardous materials which may explode or give off toxic fumes, such as aerosols; batteries; bottles; foam-filled furniture, gas cylinders, tins of paint or other similar items.

“Tyres should not be used as they produce large amounts of black smoke and can roll off the bonfire when alight.

“Light-weight materials that may be blown away while on a fire should not be used.

“At the end of the event, the bonfire should be extinguished with water and it should not be left until the person in charge is certain that it is out,

“If your bonfire gets out of hand, dial 999 / 112 and inform the fire brigade/emergency services.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.