Costumes, jack-‘o-lanterns, haunted houses and scary ghost stories mark this time of year as all kids of all ages enjoy the spirit of Halloween. But if precautions aren’t taken, scary things can happen. Decorations that ignited are the reported cause in 900 home fires nationwide each year. Two of every five of those were started by a candle.
To make this day a fun and festive event, just follow these few simple steps to ensure everyone stays safe:
Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult
Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting and visibility
Review how to cross a street with your child. Look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street
If driving, be sure to watch for trick-or-treaters who are too busy to watch for you
Remind children to stay together as a group when walking from house to house
Purchase costumes made of flame resistant or flame retardant material. Fire resistant does not mean fireproof!
Apply reflective tape to Halloween costumes
Masks can obstruct vision – consider using make-up instead
Avoid loose, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts
Keep hemlines short enough to prevent tripping
Keep decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters
Light jack-‘o-lanterns with battery powered light – never use candles!
Keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes
Remove objects from the yard that could present a tripping hazard (garden tools, hoses, etc.)
Remember to closely inspect all candy before allowing children to eat it, discarding any unwrapped treats from a stranger. If in doubt, throw it out!
CAL FIRE wishes all Californians a safe and enjoyable Halloween. For more Halloween fire safety ideas and tips, visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov.