Halloween & Bonfires

Fire Safety at Halloween

Each year, Accident and Emergency departments are filled with adults & children who receive horrific and painful injuries as a result of bonfires at Halloween.

Siting and Construction of Bonfires

  • Sites should be a minimum of 18 meters from buildings, crops, trees and other combustible items.
  • Additional allowance in distance may have to be made depending on the strength and direction of the wind.
  • Beware of ESB overhead power cables, telephone lines, etc when deciding on the site for the bonfire.
  • Where the public will be involved, the bonfire should be roped off to a minimum distance of 6m around its perimeter.
  • Undergrowth on the site should be cleared, and any grass cut short in the vicinity of the bonfire.
  • The materials to be burnt on the fire should be carefully selected to exclude hazardous rubbish, e.g. aerosols, paint tins, drums and bottles which can explode, and tyres and foam filled furniture which give off volumes of black smoke and can fall off the fire when alight.
  • Care should be taken in the construction of the bonfire to ensure as far as possible that the bonfire is evenly built and will not fall over once alight.

Supervision of Bonfires

  • The site is to be under the supervision of a responsible person.
  • An adequate number of stewards should be appointed and should be clearly recognisable.
  • Before lighting the bonfire, check the construction, and ensure that no children or animals are inside.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to light a bonfire.
  • Buckets of water and/or beaters should be available for tackling any small fires caused by flying brands.
  • Ensure that the bonfire is supervised by adults at all times and keep people at a safe distance back from the fire.
  • The location of the nearest telephone and the arrangements for calling the fire service should be known to the responsible person and stewards.
  • If the bonfire gets out of control, dial 112 for the Fire & Rescue Service immediately.
  • The stewards / responsible persons should that the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the bonfire area

Note all fireworks displays must be licensed, approved and appropriately supervised.

Please have a safe and injury free Halloween.

Visit our website at http://www.fire.kilkennycoco.ie for further information on general advice on fire safety advice.
You can get more information from the Fire Services and Emergency Planning Section via the telephone on Locall: 1890 202 021

This checklist review has been compiled by Senior Fire Officers of Kilkenny County Council Fire and Rescue Service.

Kilkenny County Council Fire and Rescue Service
Community Fire Safety
Fire Service Headquarters,
Gaol road,
Kilkenny R95 R660

t: 056 - 7794400
f: 056 - 7794425
w: www.fire.kilkennycoco.ie

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