HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- 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.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Trick or Treat With an Adult
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
Keep Halloween spooky and safe using NFPA’s tips for fire safe decorating and festivities
“Halloween is such an exciting holiday for kids and adults alike,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “But without the proper planning and precautions, a seemingly innocent candle decoration or a flowing costume can quickly turn the holiday into a true horror.”According to Carli, candle fires represent a leading cause of U.S. home fires. From 2003-2007, an annual average of 15,260 home structure fires were started by candles, causing 166 fire deaths, 1,289 injuries and $450 million in direct property damage. Overall, candles caused 4% of reported home fires, 6% of the home fire deaths, 10% of the home fire injuries, and 7% of the direct property damage in reported home fires during this period. Halloween is one of the top five days for candle fires.
NFPA statistics also show that, from 2003-2007, decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated annual average of 1,240 reported home structure fires, resulting in 7 civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $20 million in direct property damage each year.
- When choosing a costume, stay away from 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. 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 glow sticks as part of their costume.
- 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.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles 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 way trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- 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.)
- Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
- If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
- Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult.
- Remind children to stay together as a group and walk from house to house.
- Review how to cross a street with your child. Look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street.
- Make a rule that children will not eat any treat until it has been brought home and examined by a grown-up.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
“We urge everyone to take simple precautions to keep this year’s Halloween celebrations festive and safe,” says Carli. Fortunately, she notes, most fire hazards can be avoided with a few minor adjustments and a little extra planning. Below are NFPA’s tips for keeping your family, home and all trick-or-treaters safe from fire this Halloween: