Ahead of Halloween, AA Ireland is urging motorists to be safety conscious this year and do their part to keep our roads safe on Sunday night.
The AA is warning that the changing of the clocks at the weekend, the start of the winter season, and the presence of children trick-or-treating in estates and cul-de-sacs present a number of risks during an increasingly dangerous season on Irish roads.
"We are urging drivers who find themselves travelling on Sunday evening to reduce their speed, particularly when driving through built up areas, and to be on the lookout for children who could step onto the street without looking and animals who could be startled by fireworks," says Head of Communications Paddy Comyn.
"We are also encouraging home-owners to make safety a priority and to ensure that any candles, jack-o-lanterns or open flames are kept away from flammable items in their home. Those with pets are being advised to keep them in a quiet, safe part of the house for the evening to minimise the risk of the animal becoming startled," Comyn adds.
In relation to trick-or-treating, parents should choose costumes wisely - that are flame resistant, bright, reflective and doesn’t obstruct vision so that they can see where they’re going. Make necessary alterations to costumes to prevent the risk of tripping.
"Before engaging in Halloween festivities, parents should have a talk with children about the rules of the road, remembering to: only cross at corners of the road and not between parked cars, obey traffic lights as well as stop, look and listen before proceeding to cross the road. Give children a torch or a glow light to ensure maximum visibility," says Comyn.
This weekend, be fire safety conscious in your home. Keep candles and lit pumpkins away from doors and doorsteps as trick-or-treaters' costumes could brush past open flames and catch fire. Consider using battery-operated or LED lights instead of candles.
As well as this, ensure that your smoke alarm is working and that you have a fire extinguisher in your home.
In terms of bonfires and fireworks, don’t allow children to attend unsupervised bonfires. Under 2006 legislation, if you ignite a firework or cause it to be ignited in any place, you are guilty of an offence (unless you are a licensed operator).
Have a great weekend, and remember, be safe!
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