Dublin firefighters brace for ‘extremely’ busy weekend as Halloween festivities begin
Dublin firefighters have urged parents to explain the danger of fireworks to their children before Halloween night.
Deputy Fire Chief John Guilfoyle said people shouldn’t use fireworks because they are extremely unpredictable.
“Fireworks are illegal, they are dangerous and they can really cause serious damage. They are definitely not toys, so don’t buy them, use them, or give them to others.
“They are illegal, so they may not conform to particular manufacturing standards, so they can be very unpredictable, they can explode sooner or later which can catch people,” he told The Anton Savage Show on Newstalk.
Mr Guilfoyle recommended people attend local organized events that are safe for the whole family, he said: “The key message is that we want the public to have fun and enjoy the evening. It’s a big event and I hope it will be a safe event. “
He warned people to keep away from bonfires, as some Halloween costumes can be highly flammable.
“Stay away from bonfires, keep in mind that you don’t know their contents and the smoke can be very toxic, so stay away and there is a risk of sparks too. and debris flying from the bonfire that can cause burns and ignite clothing and disguises.
“You have to keep in mind that costumes are considered toys, so they wouldn’t have to meet normal clothing standards. So make sure it’s CE marked, that’s really important to check, ”he said.
Mr. Guilfoyle said Halloween night is an “extremely” busy time for firefighters.
“The peak demand during Halloween tends to be concentrated from 6 p.m. until around 2 a.m. the next morning. Dublin firefighters operate the emergency ambulance service for the Dublin area and it is a extremely busy service.
“There is a constant demand on the ambulance side and on top of that we obviously have a demand for fires and normal emergencies such as traffic accidents, fire alarms and house fires.
“All of this is happening in addition to the demand for Halloween which would be bonfires, burning trash and anti-social behavior,” he added.
Mr Guilfoyle said Halloween’s extra workload put extra strain on the service. He said the crew also faced antisocial behavior during the night.
“Unfortunately, year after year we are confronted with anti-social behavior and during my career I have witnessed verbal violence, threatening behavior, physical violence, assaults on our crews, stone throwing and fireworks.
“We really have enough to do during the incident to make sure we can safely resolve it and restore normalcy without the added pressure of dealing with things like this,” he added.
Mr Guilfoyle said the crew were constantly performing equipment checks to make sure they were ready to go.
“This is to make sure that we are all ready to respond at all times, it is a very important part of our days and our evening. Responding to an emergency call takes precedence over all other activity.
“When the bell rings, you are never 100% sure what that call might be or what the challenge will be. can enter our firefighting equipment, board the aircraft, and leave.
“There is an element of apprehension when you get the initial call and we leave and I hope we can resolve the incident,” he said.