In the 2005 study “The Seasonal Nature of Fires,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency saw a spike in fires on Halloween. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the spookiest night of the year a safe night for your family to enjoy.
To help avoid a fire at your haunted house this year, you may want to check out these Halloween fire safety tips:
Jack O’ Lanterns
Cleaning out a pumpkin and carving it into a grinning Jack O’ Lantern is so much fun. And, to give your creation a cheerful glow, some people light candles and stand them inside before putting top of the pumpkin over the top hole like a lid but that’s not safe.
Open flames always have to be carefully watched, but when that flame is contained in an easily kickable, hollowed-out pumpkin, can pose a hazard. Instead of a votive candle or tea light, you may want to try a battery-operated LED light or a glow stick for safer glow.
Clear a Pathway
You may want your home to look spooky for all the little ghosts and goblins who are going to come knocking, but you also want to make sure it is safe. In addition to following safety tips in the hope of avoiding a fire, you also may want to think about providing a safe escape route in the event that one happens. The Burn Institute recommends that no decorations block your home’s exits or pathways leading away from it.
Keep It Cool
You may not think about it, but a Halloween costume itself can pose a fire hazard. The National Fire Protection Association offers Halloween safety tips such as purchasing only flame-retardant costumes and accessories. Also, while your little one may think Dracula should have a cape, but long flowing fabric on your children’s costumes can catch fire if they come in contact with a candle. If clothing does catch fire, make sure your loved ones know how to “stop, drop and roll.”
Dry Decorations and Candles
Obviously, dried cornstalks and open flame do not mix well. Halloween comes around harvest time, and bales of hay and straw scarecrows are everywhere. If you want to celebrate the harvest with real dried cornstalks and hay, make sure to keep them away from open flames.
Watch Out for Mischief
Following these tips may help you prevent accidental fires, but intentional fires are a problem on Halloween, as well. The FEMA study says the number of suspicious fires or arson usually skyrockets around Halloween. If you notice anything suspicious on Halloween (or any other day), you should call the police.