Don’t let your Halloween go up in flames

Posted at 12:03 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 13:14:10-04

With Halloween quickly approaching, the National Fire Protection Association wants to make sure you're protecting yourself and others from potential fire hazards this holiday season.

"Halloween is an exciting day for trick-or-treating, costume-wearing and creative home decorating," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. "These activities do present potential fire hazards, however, so it’s important to keep safety in mind when preparing for the holiday."

In a study conducted by the NFPA, decorations were the first items to catch fire in an estimated 800 reported structure fires in recent years, resulting in $11 million in direct property damage and an average of two deaths.

Here are a few tips and tricks to stay safer this Halloween:

Flammable decorations: Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

Candles/jack-o-lanterns: It is safest to use a glow stick or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times. Do not leave them near flammable objects or anywhere trick-or-treaters may walk. Remind your children to avoid open flames. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit.

Costumes: When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long-trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.

Visibility: Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costumes. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so she/he can see clearly out of it.

Exits: Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes. 

For more information visit Sparky the Fire Dog website or watch the following NFPA Halloween Safety video.

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