The dangers of fireworks highlighted by firefighters and the gardaí as Halloween approaches

The injuries that fireworks can cause were highlighted today during a brutal demonstration by Dublin firefighters when they showed how a firecracker can detonate the fingers of one hand.

The force of the explosion of the common fireworks blew the thumb and forefinger of a plaster model hand to reproduce what could happen to a child who holds fireworks when it explodes.

Speaking at the event at the Dublin Fire Brigade Training Unit in Marino, Dublin, Fire Chief Dennis Keeley said fireworks cause life-changing injuries every year that leave people behind. enormous difficulties and devastation in their wake.

“The promotion of public awareness of fireworks is focused on this time of year when the evenings are drawing closer and Halloween is approaching. This is when we typically see an increase in fireworks activity and associated, all too familiar injuries.

“It’s terrible to see the devastation fireworks can do to the body. The tragedy is that we are likely to see more injuries, and these are so preventable,” he said.

Inspector Aonghus Hussey of the Garda National Community Engagement Unit said Gardaí has ​​now launched what he calls Operation Tombola to combat the sale, supply and use of illegal fireworks .

Over € 40,000 worth of fireworks were seized last year.

“One of the key messages we want to get across is the dangers to children with fireworks and the injuries they can cause, such as hand injuries, burns and eye damage. We therefore ask children to stay away from fireworks. If they see them on the ground or thrown so as not to pick them up, they could still be alive, ”he said.

Inspector Hussey also pointed out that while it may be logistically easy to cross the border into Northern Ireland and purchase fireworks, they remain illegal in the Republic.

“The penalties can go up to a 10,000 € fine or possibly five years in prison. These are severe penalties, ”he said.

During the Halloween period, gardaí will liaise with local authorities and firefighters to identify and remove campfire equipment and abandoned vehicles.

The effect of fireworks on animals and pets has also been highlighted, especially because Halloween celebrations seem to span longer periods of days and weeks over the years.

“Every year we spread the message of the distress and dread of fireworks to our pets and other animals. We would also like to let those considering acquiring these fireworks known that they are illegal, ”said Conor Dowling, chief inspector of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

His advice to pet owners during fireworks season is to keep their pet in a quiet place indoors, from which they cannot escape, and to provide a secluded cubicle where they can. withdraw if they are in distress.

“Distracting them with some background noise and toys with treats can help. And also make sure you’re there to offer comfort if they get a little anxious. What is very important is to make sure that your pet is microchipped and registered. So if something happens and if he is afraid or runs away, he can find you later if he is found, ”said Mr. Dowling.

Justice Minister Heather Humphreys stressed that fireworks pose a danger not only to young people, but also to the elderly and those living alone.

“When you think about what the elderly went through during Covid, out of respect for them only, we shouldn’t set off illegal fireworks,” she said.

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