Fire stations in Dublin have been "increasingly busy" responding to a "huge increase" in the numbers of calls in the run up to Halloween.

Station Officer Darren O'Connor said there has been a 300% increase in the number of bonfire-related fires this year compared to last year.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said other fires are tagged as "small fires" and stations have dealt with "nearly 700 of these fires in the last six weeks".

Mr O'Connor said there is a risk of collapse with bonfires and "a lot of toxins" are involved.

"There's huge environmental damage to local amenities and grassland parks - things that people really need during the current conditions."

He reminded the public that the import, possession and use of fireworks is illegal and some firework-related injuries can be "life changing".

"Bangers appear quite small, but they've got a massive explosive force in them," he said.

"It is an explosive material, that's why they're illegal under the Explosives Act. We'd just ask people not to buy them and not to use them.

"We'd ask parents as well to take them off your kids if you know they have them.

"There's massive risk with them, that's evident every year when we attend a number of cases involving massive, life changing injuries."

While he appealed to people not to engage in lighting bonfires, Mr O'Connor acknowledged that some fires will take place.

"If you are going to light a bonfire, keep it small and make sure you've got a fire blanket or bucket of water close by," he said.

"Don't use petrol or diesel to light the fire, keep it small and make sure the kids' costumes are non flammable or made out of plastic products."

Meanwhile, pet owners have been urged to microchip their pets as they can get spooked by the noise of fireworks and run way.

Gillian Bird, the Head of Education and Media at the DSPCA, said: "We still have dogs and cats out there that are not microchipped, which means that if they do get lost - and they can easily slip their collars or just run off and get scared - it makes it very difficult for charities to reunite them with their owners."

Ms Bird advised pet owners with outdoor cats and dogs to start bringing them inside now, or to at least make sure that back gardens are "good and secure".