Nashville, TN – Every year, Halloween decorations, costumes and parties seemingly become more elaborate and outrageous. While the season may thrill trick-or-treaters, Halloween season can sometimes lead to dangerous and tragic situations.
National data from the U.S. Fire Administration shows 10,300 fires typically occur during the three-day period around Halloween, causing about 25 deaths, 125 injuries and $83 million in property loss.During Halloween this year, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) reminds revelers to never forget basic fire safety rules and pay close attention to candles, decorations, and costumes.
It is also important to remember fire safety while visiting haunted houses operating in your area.
“We urge Tennesseans to remember fire safety during their Halloween festivities,” said State Fire Marshal and Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We want everyone to balance fun with safety during Halloween.”
Keep Halloween safe with a few fire safety tips:
- Choose a costume without long trailing fabric. This can cause a child to trip or may touch flames in jack-o’-lanterns or other decorations.
- If you make your own costume, use materials that won’t catch on fire easily if they come in contact with heat or flame.
- Give your children flashlights or glow sticks so they can see where they are walking.
- Keep decorations away from candles, light bulbs or heaters.
- Consider using flameless candles or glow sticks in your jack-o’-lantern.
- Keep exits clear of decorations.
- If you are making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your children wear masks, make sure eyeholes are large enough to allow unobstructed views.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o’-lantern. If you use a flame candle, use extreme caution and keep them well attended at all times.
- When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace matches or a long-nozzled candle 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 and such high-traffic areas as doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames. 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 faces with their hands, and rolling over and over.)
- When attending a Halloween party, look for ways out of the home/venue and plan how you would get out in an emergency.