How to keep your children safe this Halloween

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Offaly gardaí issue fireworks warning ahead of Halloween

Please don't use and don't allow your children to use fireworks.

Each year the use of illegal fireworks causes injury and distress and gardai have issued the following advice to parents to ensure their families have a safe and happy Halloween.

In the past the homes of elderly have been targeted by children using bangers. Fireworks can cause huge distress and they are a potential fire hazard when put through letter boxes or thrown at people or property.

Parents are reminded that, under the Criminal Justice Act, 2006:

- It is an offence for any person to possess a firework with intent to sell or supply, without a licence 
- It is an offence to throw an ignited firework at any person or property 
- It is an offence to light unlicensed fireworks 
- The penalty for these offences is a fine of up to €10,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both. 
 - The simple possession of fireworks without a licence is also an offence – liable to a fine of up to €10,000. 

If you discover that your children have bangers/fireworks please confiscate them and hand them into your local Garda Station. 
Parents should be extra vigilant during this period and know where their children are at all times. 
Adults in general, should ensure that children are aware of the very real dangers associated with fireworks. 
If you have any information relating to the illegal importation/sale of fireworks please contact any Garda Station or use the Garda Confidential Line – telephone number 1800-666-111. 

Did you know?

- In Dublin the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services on average answers 727 emergency calls in a 12 hour period on Halloween night. (compared to the usual 80 a day). 
- People often build bonfires too close to houses and to electric cables and they also make them too big. 
- More than €1 million was spent cleaning up Halloween bonfires and fireworks last year. 
- Dozens of children were left with serious burns and hand injuries last year most aged between 10 and 12 years of age.  This can occur from fireworks that aren’t properly manufactured and obviously bought on the black market.  Facial injuries also occur from explosions within bonfires from gas cylinders. 
 
Children are often excited and curious around fireworks, (for example, when they re-examine a ‘banger’ dud that initially fails to ignite) please avoid the risk of injury and don't use fireworks this Halloween.