Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2016
Halloween is just around the corner, and that means costumes, pumpkin-scented candles, and jack-o-lanterns. While these traditions and others are a fun way to celebrate the holiday with your family, they can also present fire hazards. The majority of harmful fires happen right at home. To ensure your and your child’s safety from fires during these festivities, follow our list of top Halloween fire safety tips.
Halloween may not be as popular a holiday for fireworks as the 4th of July or New Year’s, but a significant number of firework-related injuries still occur every October 31st. Check with your local police or fire department for local laws relating to fireworks. Supervise all firework activities your children engage in, and emphasize that fireworks are not toys. Even sparklers can burn at temperatures as high as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, causing burn injuries and igniting clothing if children aren’t careful.
Read and obey all firework instructions. Never purchase homemade or unlabeled fireworks, as they can be deadly. One-third of all firework-related injuries stem from illegal or homemade fireworks. Only use fireworks outdoors, at a safe distance from trick-or-treaters. Have water handy in case of a fire emergency. Only organizers with the proper permits can host a firework display, with the proper pyrotechnics and crowd control systems in place. Always call 9-1-1 in case of a firework disaster.
Most materials in the U.S. are flame resistant or retardant nowadays, but double check to make sure your child’s costume, wig, and accessories are safe from fire hazards. Costumes can burn if they come in contact with excessive heat, such as candles on a decorated home’s walkway. A flame-resistant costume gives the wearer extra time to remove the clothing or stop, drop, and roll before suffering a burn injury.
Fabrics with loose weaves tend to burn more easily than others, as do fluffy or fuzzy clothes. Fabrics that are closely woven and heavy, such as denim, are the safest from fires. Teach your children how to stop, strop, and roll should their costumes catch on fire. One safety tip that isn’t fire-related but still worth mentioning is to use bright colors on costumers, and reflective material if possible. This will help prevent pedestrian accidents. If you aren’t accompanying your children trick-or-treating, give them a cell phone in case of a fire emergency.
Candles, lanterns, and lighted pumpkins are fun aspects of Halloween, but they’re also burn hazards. Consider using glow sticks or battery-powered lights instead of real candles. Use a glass votive when placing a candle inside of a pumpkin to help prevent it from catching on fire. Place lighted pumpkins on a sturdy surface, away from flammable objects. Don’t leave lighted jack-o-lanterns unattended. Keep pets away from candles and lighted pumpkins, as they could knock over the pumpkins and start a fire or suffer serious burns.
If you’re decorating your home with electric lights or other plug-in special effects, don’t overload your outlets. Overloading your circuit could lead to a dangerous electrical fire. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms and keep exits clear of obstacles. Always have an emergency plan in case of a fire, especially if you’re hosting a Halloween party and will have lots of people in your home. Inform your guests of smoking rules, such as putting cigarettes out completely before tossing them and keeping lit ones carefully away from wigs and costume materials.
In case of a fire emergency this Halloween, keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Teach your children fire safety and set a good example by following these tips. With a few fire safety best practices, you can enjoy a fun and safe Halloween.