Comment: Staying safe this Halloween

Halloween has the dubious distinction of being one of the busiest nights for the fire services and the gardai.

Halloween has the dubious distinction of being one of the busiest nights for the fire services and the gardai.

It is an unfortunate and unacceptable situation, but each year seems to see a marked increase in the number of dangerous incidents that take place around the so called ‘celebrations’ that now seem part and parcel of this festival.

Bonfires and the use of fireworks and bangers are the two main culprits, and over the past fortnight most housing estates have been resonating to the sound of bangers in preparation for the night itself.

Much has already been written about the use of such devices. However, it’s worth reiterating that along with the obvious risks to the users, they are a cause of upset and distress to a lot of people. Their use anywhere, but particularly in built up urban areas, is unfair to say the least.

A much more agreeable scenario would see regulated community events in which fireworks and other such devices are used in the right and proper manner.

And while there are many such events, the ad hoc use of these dangerous devices looks set to continue.

The importance of safety and staying safe at Halloween is paramount.

At its best, Halloween is a family orientated festival and, in recent years, the emphasis has been increasingly on this.

Its darker side needs to be offset by this emphasis.