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Public urged to be mindful of fire, water and road safety on bank holiday weekend

Summer bank holidays tend to the most dangerous for preventable deaths as people take to beaches or road trips.

EMERGENCY SERVICES HAVE re-launched the ‘Amber Thursday’ campaign to appeal to the public to stay safe over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Taking its name from similar days such as ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Green Wednesday’ and ‘Black Friday’,  Amber Thursday is a joint initiative launched in 2021 to promote safety on the Thursday before August’s bank holiday.

The colour amber was chosen as it signifies a hazard or a warning. 

Emergency services highlighted that four people lost their lives in crashes during one 24-hour period this week, bringing the total number of deaths on Irish roads to 94 people so far this year. 

Summer bank holidays tend to the most dangerous for preventable deaths as people take to beaches or road trips on the long weekend.

In 2021, 24 people lost their lives on Irish roads in August alone, making it the the deadliest month in over nine years.

This year eight people died in a series of crashes across the June bank holiday weekend, which was the worst weekend on Irish roads so far this year.

The recent dry spell and warm weather has also resulted in an increase in outdoor fires, such as the massive blaze in Killiney this week.

This bank holiday weekend is expected to be a particularly busy time for firefighters who are called to various incidents including barbeque or domestic fires and road traffic collisions.

The increase in swimmers is also a cause for concern, and the acting CEO of Water Safety Ireland, Roger Sweeney, has joined in on the campaign.

“More people are at risk of an accident on our waterways during bank holiday weekends,” he said.

“Every effort should be made to swim where lifeguards can provide for your safety. Bringing children to any waterway brings with it a responsibility for constant, uninterrupted supervision by an accompanying adult.”

“Never let children use inflatable toys in open water as they can be swept from shore and place a child at risk of drowning.”

Lifeguards advise  holding hands with children while in water and to be aware of rip currents and other water safety hazards before entering the water.  

Swimming while under the influence of alcohol should always be avoided.  

During the months of June and July alone, Cork County Council’s lifeguards were called upon to rescue people on six occasions and assisted 16 people in the water who needed help.

The teams gave advice to members of the public on 3,898 occasions and prevented more than a thousand incidents. 

Amber Thursday is supported by Local Authorities, the Chief Fire Officers Association, Road Safety Authority, Water Safety Ireland and Local Authority Road Safety Officers.

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