Lifestyle

People in Waterford warned of the dangers of bonfires

Chief Fire Officer in Waterford issues a warning

With Hallowe'en approaching Waterford City and County Council is appealing to the public to be aware of the danger of bonfires. The Council is also urging businesses not to supply any waste material to persons who do not hold a valid waste collection permit.

Chief Fire Officer, Niall Curtin issued a warning regarding the dangers of bonfires.

โ€œLast year, brigades from Waterford Fire Service attended 46 bonfires and other outdoor fires on Halloween night and the two weeks leading up to it. Bonfires are dangerous, potentially leading to burns, inhalation of toxic fumes and injury from exploding cylinders and canisters. They cause significant damage to property and public amenity space.

Mr Curtin went onto say that the fire service has had to deal with anti-social behaviour at these fires that has hindered fire personnel doing their jobs in a safe manner. He's urging businesses and the public to do their utmost to ensure they do not facilitate such fires. People are urged to report the building of bonfires or storage of bonfire material to Waterford City and County Council.โ€

Damage caused by bonfires

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The burning of waste in bonfires, and particularly the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Raymond Moloney, Environment Department has requested that businesses or members of the public do not supply waste material to anyone who does not hold a valid waste collection permit.

โ€œThe uncontrolled burning of waste, particularly in bonfires, is illegal and releases toxic pollutants into the air, which are known to be damaging to our health and environment. The use of accelerants on bonfires can pose a significant safety risk and threat to the public. We would urge the public to report materials being hoarded such as pallets, tyres, combustible waste or old furniture, by getting in touch with the Councilโ€™s Waste Enforcement Section," he said.

Waterford Council working with communities for a safer Hallowe'en

In an effort to encourage bonfire-free Halloween events, Waterford City and County Councilโ€™s Estates Management Department is working with residentsโ€™ associations to create alternative, fun and safe Halloween celebrations for children and families.

Eamonn Oโ€™ Leary, Estate Management Team said, โ€œWe are engaging with local estates to highlight alternate Halloween activities for younger kids and will be running a painting competition as well as a spooky Halloween crossword competition in association with the Garda Schools Programme."

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The Council is encouraging parents and guardians to ensure that if children are wearing dark Hallowe'en costumes, they carry a torch or use reflective aids or hi-vis clothing so they will be seen by motorists and cyclists. Pet owners are encouraged to keep them indoors. You'll find more advise on keeping dogs safe here.

Members of public are also advised not to buy, use or supply fireworks. Illegal fireworks may be manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious damage.

To report the storage and collection of materials for bonfires call Waterford City and County Council on 0761 102020. Report fireworks to the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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