Children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts, and dried corn stalks 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. According to the National Fire Protection Association, decorations are the first thing to ignite in roughly 800 reported home fires each year. More than one-third of these fires were started by a candle. But by planning, 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.
The Following Fire Prevention Tips Will Help You Safely Decorate Your Home and Dress up for Halloween
- When choosing a costume, stay away from the long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see out.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costumes.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
- Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice, stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
Fire Damage Restoration
You can ensure that you and your kids have a fun and safe Halloween by following these fire safety tips from the NFPA. Halloween falls at the end of Fire Prevention Month and everyone must take extra precautions to help prevent fires for a safe holiday. If you do experience a fire in your Northern Virginia home despite your best prevention efforts, call Metropolitan Contractors right away at 703-591-2830 for fire damage restoration services. We provide a 24/7 emergency response to limit the damage to your home and start the restoration process.