Fire prevention can make trick-or-treating safe this Halloween
As Halloween approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages everyone to keep fire safety in mind.
"Halloween is an exciting day for trick-or-treating, costume-wearing and creative home decorating," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of outreach and advocacy. "These activities do present potential fire hazards, however, so it's important to keep safety in mind when preparing for the holiday."
According to NFPA statistics, between 2012 and 2016, decorations were the first item to catch fire in an estimated average of 800 home fires reported each year, resulting in an average of two civilian deaths, 34 civilian injuries and $11 million in property damage. In 42 percent of these fires, the decoration was too close to a heat source, such as a candle or equipment.
NFPA offers these tips and recommendations to help ensure a fire-safe Halloween:
- Costumes: When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long-trailing fabric. If you make your child's costume, be sure to use material that won't ignite easily if it comes into contact with heat of flame.
- Visibility: Provide your child with flashlights to carry for lighting, or glow sticks. If your child wears a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he/she can see clearly.
- Candles/Jack-o-lanterns: Provide children with a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns.
- Flammable decorations: Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources.
- Exits: Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes
The organization also produced a video on Halloween safety, which is posted to their YouTube page.
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