Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association, are offering a few safety tips for local families who may be heading out to parties or for trick-or-treating tonight for Halloween. Read the tips below and view the short video.
- Watch for long, billowing costumes: The fabric can create a trip-and-fall hazard, as well as a potential fire hazard.
- Costumes with masks: Make sure the eye holes are large enough to be able to see sufficiently, especially for kids’ costumes.
- Portable lighting: Especially when trick-or-treating or walking dark streets, make sure everyone is armed with a flashlight or glow stick–it not only helps you see, but helps drivers see you.
- Watch for flammable decorations or costume parts: Things like crepe streamers, hay, corn stalks and dried flowers are all highly flammable. Keep these types of things far away from open flames and heating sources, including jack-o-lanterns, light bulbs and heaters.
- Lighting up your jack-o-lanterns or walkways: It is much safer to use battery-operated lights in your pumpkins than open flames. Take extreme caution if you choose to use a real candle–make sure you watch children who get near the pumpkin at all times, and place the pumpkin an area that does not see high foot traffic, when someone can accidentally knock it over. In addition, opt for battery-operated decorations rather than flame-lit tiki torches or candles–costumes can brush up against them and potentially catch fire. Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 1,000 reported home fires each year.
- Review fire safety with children: Be sure to practice “stop, drop and roll” with kids so they know what to do if they accidentally catch fire.
- Have an emergency evacuation plan: If you and/or your children are heading to a Halloween party in a building or home, make sure you scope out various exits and have a plan in place for quick and safe evacuation in case of an emergency.