Planning is Critical for a Safe Halloween
Planning ahead can help make this Halloween a safe one according to Monroe volunteer firefighters. Tips gathered from them, from the National Fire Prevention Association and from UL make for safer fun.
Check Everything Electrical
When purchasing electrical decorations, make sure to shop at a reputable retailer and look for the UL Mark on products. (UL tests to determine that safety standards have been met by all things electrical. No UL Mark? Don’t plug it in!) Be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage. Use special, heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations such as fog machines and electrically-powered inflatable decorations.
Dried cornstalks and flowers burn fast. Keep them all well away from all heat sources. Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard. Replace damaged light strings with energy-efficient LED lights. Look for a red UL Mark to indicate that lights are certified for both indoor and outdoor use. A green UL Mark indicates certification for indoor use only.
Use Candles with Care
Candles, especially in a Jack O’Lantern, should be off the ground and out of children’s and pet’s reach. Try battery-operated LED candles for an even safer option.
Think Short with Face Paint
Halloween costumes should allow full movement for your kids. Costumes that drag, constrict, drape or billow pose a dangerous hazard, especially at night. Check to ensure that costumes don’t restrict your children’s vision. Make sure the eye-holes in masks are large enough to see out of, and instruct children to watch out for tripping hazards, such as cords.
Flame Retardant Only
Be sure to purchase or make costumes out of flame-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester as these specially marked fabrics will resist burning and extinguish quickly. Make sure your child knows to stop, drop and roll in case their costume catches fire.
Choose costumes that are lighter in color and attach reflective materials to costumes. Make sure each child has a flashlight or glow stick to help them see and be seen.
Look Before Eating
Never let your kids eat Halloween candy before you inspect it in the light at home. Even if you know your neighbors, you should always check to be safe and throw away open candy or anything that looks at all suspicious.