Halloween is meant to be a special treat for children and adults alike, but many of its hallmarks, costumes and decorations pose fire, safety and other accident hazards. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Fire and Public Health Officials offer the following tips and reminders to help all witches, ghosts and ghouls enjoy a safe Halloween.
• Wear a costume that is easily seen by others, especially motorists, and is easy to walk in.
• Avoid costumes with billowy, long-trailing fabric that can easily ignite or be a tripping hazard.
• Make sure masks fit properly and eye holes are large enough to easily see out.
• Consider wearing facial make-up instead.
Candles and Decorations
Halloween is one of the top five days of the year when candles are used, and according to the National Fire Protection Association, candles cause about 15,000 house fires each year, more than 1,200 serious injuries, close to 200 deaths and $450 million in property damage.
• Always use caution with candles and never leave lit candles unattended.
• Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
• Keep all exists clear of decorations and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
• Consider using flashlights or battery-operated candles instead.
• Light candles inside Jack o’ Lanterns with long, fireplace-style matches or utility lighters.
• Make sure children are watched at all times when around lit candles. Be sure young ones know how to stop, drop, roll and cover their faces if clothing catches fire.
Trick or Treating
• Always go with friends and stay in a group. Plan your route, using well-lit streets and tell your family which streets you plan to use and your return time.
• Parents or other adults should always go with the young trick-or-treaters. Everyone should use flashlights or glow-sticks to increase visibility. Use reflective tape on costumes.
• Cross only at corners, not in the middle of the block or from between parked cars.
• Review with children how to safely cross a street with by looking left, right and left again to spot approaching cars. If no sidewalk, stay as far left of the roadway as possible and walk facing traffic.
• Never eat any goodies until you are safely home and have checked all treats. Parents should help youngsters check all treats. Throw away candy or food not commercially wrapped and sealed. Notify parents and police if there are any suspicious treats.
• As an alternative, attend an organized Halloween party. It’s fun to get together with other ghosts and goblins! If your children are attending Halloween parties at others’ homes, remind them to be alert for ways out of the home in an emergency.
Adults & Motorists
• Use extra caution while driving on Halloween. Be on the look-out for trick-or-treaters.
• Celebrate responsibly and designate a driver if attending parties or other festivities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Holiday Safety Tips
For many people, autumn events like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, attend parties, and eat yummy treats. These events are also opportunities to provide nutritious snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.
Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.
– Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
– Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
– Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
– Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
– Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.
– Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
– Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
– Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
– Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
– Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
– Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
– Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
– Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?
• Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
• Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
• Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
• Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
• Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.