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"I'm not dampening all the fun, but parents need to be sensible" - Minister

Alan Kelly has something to say about Halloween.

Image: sparkler image via Shutterstock.com

MINISTER FOR THE Environment, Alan Kelly, has advised parents to be aware of fire safety and to always consider fire risks in the run up to Halloween.

His department said people need to be aware of the very real safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where burning highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries. Young children should be kept well away from bonfires and and anything with a naked flame.

“Halloween can be a fantastic time of year, especially for children and we all have fond memories of the excitement and fun at this time,” commented the minister. “I do not wish to be seen to be dampening all the fun, but I do wish to encourage parents to be sensible and to be safe.”

Smoke alarms should be checked as they provide life-saving early warning should a fire occur. It’s a great time to buy fresh batteries for your home smoke alarms and practice home escape plans.

Every year, children are injured in accidents where lighted candles or fireworks have ignited flammable costumes or hair and the department said parents should strike to only buy costumes and masks labelled as flame resistant.

“If common sense precautions are taken, it can make all the difference and help to ensure celebrations do not become a terrifying experience for all the wrong reasons,” Kelly said.

He also asked members of the public to spare a thought for the emergency services staff who risk their lives, particularly at busy times like this, to keep others safe.

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Age Action has also asked people to keep an eye on vulnerable older neighbours tonight. The charity said that it can be a “distressing time with people calling to the door or setting of bangers and fireworks”.

“If you are out with children Trick-or-Treating please keep an eye on older neighbours that they are not being bothered.”

Read: Here’s how to keep your pets safe and calm this Halloween>

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