Halloween can be pretty exciting for children (at least that's how I remember it). Getting dressed up and pretending to be someone or something else and getting to prance around all night to your neighbors and being handed candy for free seems pretty spectacular.
But, Halloween can also be a risky holiday for children and homeowner's. Take the necessary steps now to ensure a safe, fun time for all involved!
For Your Property
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution.
- Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit.
- When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter.
- Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- 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.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Keep walkways and stairs clear so that no one trips.
- Keep walkways, stairs and porches brightly lit. Blacklights and strobe lights are not safe. And remember, trick-or-treaters should be accompanied by an adult, and they need to see too!
- Don't play any mean tricks on children by jumping out and scaring them. This can result in injury, and you don't want to make anyone cry on Halloween, do you?
For Your Children
- When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glowsticks as part of their costume.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they 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 and over to put the flames out.)
- If you children are going to Halloween parties at others' homes, have them look for ways out of the home or building and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
Decorations are the first thing to ignite in more than 1,000 reported home fires each year!