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Halloween Safety
Posted On: Dec 24, 2008
 
 
 
Tricks,
            Treats, Costumes & Safety
Red Cross Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Adults


ghost With witches, goblins, and super-heroes descending on neighborhoods across America, the American Red Cross offers parents some safety tips to help prepare their children for a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat holiday. Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun.

  • Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not in the street.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms.
  • Cross the street only at corners.
  • Don't hide or cross the street between parked cars.
  • Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)
  • Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go with you.
  • Carry a flashlight to light your way.
  • Keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely flamable.)
  • Visit homes that have the porch light on.
  • Accept your treats at the door and never go into a stranger's house.
  • Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.
  • Be cautious of animals and strangers.
  • Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don't eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.

pumpkins


Halloween Fire Safety  
Ghost and pumpkinPlanning ahead can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions, like making sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame-resistant, can prevent fires.

During 2000-2004, decoration fires accounted for an estimated 1,610 reported home structure fires per year, the majority involving candles as the heat source, and causing seven civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $24.9 million in direct property damage per year.  

Source:  NFPA´s " Home Structure Fire that Began with Decorations," November 2006.

NFPA Safety Tips

dot Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features.
dot Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costume
dot 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, heaters, etc.
dot Use the proper grade of the proper fuel for your liquid-fueled space heater, and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use.  Refuel only in a well-ventilated area and when the equipment is cool.
dot Use flashlights or battery-operated candles when illuminating Jack-o-lanterns. Use extreme caution when decorating with candle lit Jack-O-Lanterns, and supervise children at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside Jack-O-Lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches and be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn including doorsteps, walkways and yards.
dot Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes.
dot

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.

dot Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothing catches fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands, and roll over and over to extinguish flames.) Cool the burn.
dot

Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and that the exit point is properly sealed around the vent, all of which is to make sure deadly carbon monoxide does not build up in the home.

dot Instruct children who are attending parties at others' homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

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