From your Fire Marshal: Tips for Halloween safety

Halloween should be a fun and happy time for all. Children look forward to dressing up in cool or scary costumes, visiting neighborhood homes for “Trick or Treat” or attending parties, school functions or community events. However, in the excitement of the holiday, one can become less careful and more prone to accidents and injuries. Planning ahead and taking fire safety precautions can help prevent an injury or tragedy.

Some Trick or Treat safety tips for adults and children include purchasing only costumes, wigs or props that are labeled flame resistant or flame retardant. If making a costume, choose material that will not ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame.

Avoid billowing or trailing features or costumes that drag on the ground. Eye holes should be large enough for good peripheral vision. Wear bright colors.

Never trick or treat alone. Travel in groups of at least three persons. Set a time to return home.

Walk on sidewalks and driveways. Do not run. Cross streets at the corner or crosswalk. Stay in well lit, populated areas. Visit only houses where lights are on. Accept treats only in doorways, do not go inside homes or get into cars.

Carry a flashlight, a glow stick or have reflective tape on the costume in order to be more visible to traffic. Be careful when near candle lit jack-o-lanterns, open flames or other heat sources. Know how to STOP, DROP and ROLL in the event clothing catches fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands, roll over and over to extinguish flames).

Young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult. All children should wait until returning home to eat treats, so parents can examine them first.

Other important Halloween safeguards include keeping all decorations away from light bulbs, heaters, lit candles and other heat sources. Use small flashlights to illuminate pumpkins. Kids like to help with pumpkin carving, however small children should not be allowed to use a sharp knife to cut the top or face. It’s best to let them clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it for an adult to carve.

Keep all exits clear of decorations. Ensure that nothing blocks escape routes. When attending activities in other homes or public sites, locate the exits and plan an emergency escape route.

By using common sense and being aware of one’s surroundings, this Halloween can be a safe and memorable holiday. For more information on fire safety, please contact The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at (203) 891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. or visit the website at


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The Amity Observer has been covering the news of Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge since 1995.

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