For many, Halloween is a time for dressing up, trick-or-treating, parties, and having fun. However, along with all the fun come potential fire hazards. Halloween is the fifth highest day of the year for candle fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This statistic is a reminder of how important it is to take precautions on Halloween to keep your family and friends safe and to reduce the risks of a fire.
The decorations that adorn our front porches on Halloween can be the cause of potential fire damage. Jack-o-lanterns with candles inside are a common sight on Halloween night. Unfortunately, decorations that require a flame to look good are not always the safest option when children in costumes are walking near them. Luckily, there are safe alternatives that can create the same effect without the safety risk. Consider using a less dangerous source to light up the spooky faces of your jack-o-lanterns. Small flashlights are effective, or you can also opt to use battery-operated candles. They give the same glow as a real flame and are much less hazardous. If you prefer to use a traditional candle to light your jack-o-lanterns and decor, never leave it unattended. Remember that dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are all highly flammable. You should always keep decorations using these materials away from candles, heaters, or other heat sources. Don’t forget to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
It is also important to choose costumes, fabric and accessories labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. This type of material won’t easily ignite if exposed to heat or a flame. Try to avoid baggy or over-sized costumes that are dangerous around lit candles or open flames. Don’t wear masks or over-the-head costumes which can make it difficult to see or make removal difficult in the event of fire; try using face paint or make-up instead. Be sure children know how to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothing catches fire. Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over to put the flames out.
Following these safety tips can help reduce the chance of fire, and ensure that everyone has a safe and fun Halloween.
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