30 Oct Halloween Fire Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again, Halloween is almost here! Pumpkins are being carved, spooky decor is appearing all over the neighborhood, and costumes are getting their last minute touches. These are just a few of the fall traditions that we look forward to every year.
Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. But by planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun!
“Halloween brings out the creativity in people of all ages. Children enjoy dressing up and going door-to-door collecting candy, and adults go all out decorating their homes with spooky accents,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “The festivities, however, can be dampened if the proper safety measures are not put in place ahead of time and while out canvassing the neighborhood for treats.”
From 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 840 home structure fires per year that began with decorations. These fires caused an average of 2 civilian deaths, 36 civilian injuries, and $11.4 million in direct property damage, per year. Fire can start when candles are too close to decorations or when long, trailing costumes come into contact with candles.
To make sure you have a spooky and safe Halloween, follow these tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
• When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see out.
• Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
• Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns.
• Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
• If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
For more safety tips, download the NFPA’s Halloween Fire Safety Tips Sheet here.