Children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts and dried cornstalks adorning front porches – these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults alike.
Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. But by planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun!
As candle fires represent a leading cause in home fires, Columbia Fire encourages families to protect their home from fire by ensuring that fabrics and decorations for the holiday are made of flame-resistant materials. Use flashlights or battery-operated candles as alternatives to open flame candles or torch lights. Use these alternatives when lighting walkways, illuminating pumpkins or decorating your home and yard. Also, remember to keep all exits clear of decorations and ensure escape routes are unobstructed in the event of an emergency.
As you and your family head out this Halloween make sure your costumes are safe by purchasing only flame retardant costumes and wigs. If you are going to create your own costume, choose materials that will not easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features that could cause a tripping hazard. Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry with them on their journey through their neighborhood. Remind children to stay away from open flame and practice, “Stop Drop and Roll” so they are prepared if their clothes or costumes catch fire.
The Columbia Fire Department encourages families to take part in safe alternatives for young trick-or-treaters, like the City of Columbia’s Spooktacular Halloween Carnival. This event will be held on Monday, October 31st at Finlay Park (930 Laurel St) from 5pm-9pm.