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Letter from the Chief-Halloween Safety Tips

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts and dried cornstalks adorning front porches - these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. By following a few simple tips you can make sure everyone is having fun and staying safe.

-Children should always go out trick or treating accompanied by a responsible adult. If you have a group of kids going, the parents should choose two or three of them to go along and keep an eye on things.

-Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

-If you will be out after dark, make sure that everyone has a flashlight. Costumes that are light colored or have reflective components are ideal.

-When selecting a costume, check the fit; if it's too big, your child may trip while walking. Any costume with a mask should allow for clear vision through eye holes. Help your child select shoes that will allow them to be comfortable while out walking (high heels should be avoided). Avoid costumes with billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.

-Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. This way you can check for any problem candy or unsealed treats.

There are also tips to take into consideration when decorating your home. According to the Nation Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 900 reported home structure fires per year. Nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.
These fires caused an estimated average of one civilian death, 41 civilian injuries and $13 million in direct property damage per year. 41% of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den.

-Consider using flame-less candles or glowsticks in your jack-o-lantern's instead of traditional candles.

-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.


Remember, with Halloween falling on a weekend, trick or treaters may be starting their rounds earlier than usual. Slow down while driving especially in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

Happy Halloween!
Dan McConnell
Chief of Department




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