The flame that flickers eerily on the front porch can signal costumed kids that a house is open for trick-or-treating, but it can also be a disaster for a child in the wrong costume.
The Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division reminds homeowners that even interior decorations can pose a threat if they include lit candles.
“More than 3,000 people end up in emergency rooms every Halloween because of candle-related injuries,” Deputy State Fire Marshal Becki White said. “But Halloween is supposed to be fun, and with a few simple precautions, you can keep it that way.”
White continued: “Candles and decorations make Halloween spookier, but accidents can make it truly horrifying. Take the right precautions and have a great time,” White says.
Follow these tips to make sure little goblins stay safe:
- When carving pumpkins, cut out the bottom instead of the top. Remove the contents and place the pumpkin on a flat surface over a battery-operated, flameless candle. Even if a real candle is used, the pumpkin will have a flat, stable bottom so it won’t roll away.
- Avoid loose-fitting, flowing costumes, and look for labels that indicate flame-resistant materials. Next-best are costumes made of polyester or nylon since these fabrics extinguish easily.
- Use flameless candles or glow-sticks in candy buckets or bags. It creates a glow that drivers can see from a distance. Glow-sticks can also go around a child’s neck or arms.
- Teach trick-or-treaters to be careful around pumpkins and porch decorations. Tell them to look for — and avoid — lit candles.
- Don’t use real candles or other open flames inside or outside if there will be children present. If you choose to use candles, place them away from curtains and decorations, in places where guests will not get close enough to endanger themselves.