Halloween Decoration Fire Safety
Halloween kicks off the holiday season with lit jack-o-lanterns, creepy candles, dangling faux spider webs, and billowing costumes. These hallmarks are a part of getting into the Halloween spirit, but unfortunately, they all pose fire hazards. However, with the right precautions, you can decorate your home and dress up for Halloween without creating fire safety concerns. Just follow these suggestions from Guardian Fire Protection.
Halloween Decoration Safety Tips
Candles are a leading cause of home fires. They result in over 15,000 blazes per year, causing 166 deaths, about 1,300 injuries, and $450 million in direct property damage annually. Because of the popularity of lighting candles on Halloween, this holiday is among the top five days for candle fires. Make sure this Halloween is one of lighthearted scares, not real emergencies, by following these decorating tips:
- Consider using battery-operated candles in your jack-o-lanterns. Simply flip the switch and they will provide realistic flickering light like a real candle, but without the fire hazard. Glow sticks are also popular for creating an eerie glow in an unexpected color. You can safely place several battery-operated candles or glow sticks in large pumpkins for the illumination you desire.
- Use flashlights instead of candles or Tiki torches when decorating your yard and sidewalk. These are safer for trick-or-treaters who pass by in costumes that may brush against the light source as they walk to and from your door.
- Use extreme caution if you decide to decorate with real candles. Keep lit candles well attended at all times, and tell your children to steer clear of open flames, including lit jack-o-lanterns.
- Learn to light a jack-o-lantern safely. First, place the carved pumpkin where you want to display it, making sure it’s a safe distance from combustibles and out of the way of trick-or-treaters who come to your door. Set a candle inside the pumpkin and use a fireplace-style match or utility lighter to light the candle from above or through the jack-o-lantern’s face.
- Remember, heat sources and combustible decorations don’t mix. Keep candles, light bulbs, and portable heaters far away from cornstalks, dried flowers, crepe paper, and faux spider webs.
- Refrain from obstructing exit doors so nothing blocks your escape route if there’s an emergency.
Halloween Costume & Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips
Children and adults alike may choose to dress up for Halloween. With a high probability for lit candles at different homes in your neighborhood, choose your costume wisely and trick-or-treat safely with these tips:
- Avoid long, billowing costumes that could trip the wearer or unintentionally dangle over an open flame.
- If you make your own costume, choose a flame retardant material that won’t ignite easily.
- If your child’s costume requires a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see out of clearly.
- Use a flashlight, battery-operated candle, or glow sticks if a costume calls for a light source.
- Make sure trick-or-treaters under age 12 are accompanied by a responsible adult.
With these tips for decorating your home and dressing up on Halloween, you can keep this year’s celebrations festive, fun, and, most importantly, safe for everyone.
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