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Stay Safe While Having a Scary Good Time this Halloween
Halloween is quickly approaching, and while everyone is planning on having a good time – it’s important to stay safe while doing so. If you’re planning to pull out the Halloween decorations and jack-o-lanterns or go trick-or-treating in costume, follow these safety tips.
Did you know, there are also more house fires reported in the few days surrounding Halloween each year because many of the traditional Halloween decorations are also serious fire hazards? The National Fire Protection Association estimates that from 2013-2017 an average of 780 home structure fires began with Halloween decorations per year. Follow these tips to prevent fires at your home.
- Jack-o-lanterns - When carving your pumpkins this October, try considering LED lights to light up your jack-o’-lanterns. Although many people choose to use candles to light up a freshly carved pumpkin, this is not always the safest option. Opting for an LED battery operated light can provide the same spooky look as a candle, but without the safety concerns. LED lights can also create a strobe effect or display multiple colors within your pumpkin, which could help you create the coolest pumpkin on the block. However, if you decide to stick with traditional candles, never leave them unattended. If you are heading out to trick or treat, be sure to blow them out.
- Flammable Decorations - Many of the common Halloween decorations that do not involve the use of a flame are flammable themselves. Corn stalks, hay bales, and paper decorations must be three feet or more away from decorations with a flame or heat source.
- Paper Bag Luminaries - These decorations are often used to line driveways and walkways, but they are also a very dangerous fire hazard if used with a lit candle. The paper bags can ignite very easily and anything from a trick-or-treater to the wind can knock them over. Use electric candles or LED lights for paper bag luminaries.
According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Help ensure you and your family have a safe Halloween, free of tricks and full of treats, by following these simple personal safety tips:
- Costume Safety
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision.
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks.
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first.
- A responsible adult should accompany young children.
- If older children are going alone, plan and review a route and agree on a specific time they should return.
- Teach children never to enter a stranger's home or car.
- Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.