Part of the fun of Halloween is decorating your house and/or yard or hosting a Halloween party. But some of the items used to make things scary and eerie can also be dangerous. The National Fire Protection Association has issued the following list to help keep your little goblins and ghouls safe this Halloween:
- 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.
- Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costumes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 or an “aim-a-flame” lighter and be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn including doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes.
- 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.
- 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 the flames.) Cool the burn.
- Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is 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.
- Instruct children who are attending parties at others’ homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
For more fire safety tips to help keep you and your children safe this Halloween, visit either the NFPA website (http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=1491&URL=Safety%20Information&cookie%5Ftest=1) or the Colorado Springs Fire Department website (http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=1085)