The uncontrolled burning of waste, particularly in bonfires, is illegal under the Air Pollution Act, 1987, and The Waste Management Acts, 1996-2011. The burning of waste also releases toxic pollutants into the air which are known to be damaging to public health and the environment.
“Bonfires are an illegal, dangerous and costly tradition,” explained Carmel Kirby, Limerick County Chief Fire Officer.
She added: Bonfires are often built close to houses and other property presenting risks to personal safety and property. Halloween is one the busiest times of the year for the fire services and responding to bonfire call outs creates a strain on existing resources. I would like people to be aware of the fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or death.”
Meanwhile, the Fire Service is advising members of public not to buy, use or supply fireworks.
According to Michael Ryan, Limerick City Chief Fire Officer: “Illegal fireworks may be manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious damage to users, particularly children. Parents should monitor their children and ensure they do not play with fireworks. Throughout the country, every year children end up tragically injured and often scarred for life, after using illegal fireworks.”
“In the period before and during Halloween, Limerick Local Authorities and the City and County Fire and Rescue Services will be assisted by An Garda Síochána to closely monitor the situation around Limerick,” Mr. Ryan added.
Fire Service tips for a safe Halloween 2012:
• If you see material such as pallets, tyres, old furniture or other combustible materials or waste being hoarded in advance of Halloween please contact the waste enforcement section of Limerick City Council (061-407190 / http://www.limerickcity.ie/
• Do not leave material lying around that may be taken for use in a bonfire; many garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, batteries, tins of paint, bottles and tyres are especially dangerous if set on fire.
• Parents, business and householders should not provide any materials for bonfires.
• Do not facilitate illegal bonfires or firework displays on or near your home or property.
• Contact the Fire Brigade by calling 999 or 112 if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas.
Under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations, 2007-2008, all persons engaged in waste collection must hold a valid waste collection permit. Any person wishing to confirm the legitimacy of a waste collector should ask the collector for their waste collection permit number and proceed to check it online on their Local Authority website, or, alternatively, contact their relevant Authority’s waste enforcement section. Be aware that it is a criminal offence to give your waste to any individual who does not hold a current and valid waste collection permit.