Halloween is a fun time of year. Candy, decorations, costumes, parties, and a break from the summer heat. October brings cozy fireplaces, outdoor firepits, patio heaters, lighting fall scented candles, and glowing jack-o-lanterns.
But according to data collected by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) Halloween decorations caused 790 home fires from 2015-2019. 45% of those fires were caused due to proximity to heat sources with candles causing 1/3 of the fires. All told it it was $13M in property damages.
ServiceMaster Restore has some helpful ideas to make your Halloween and your home, a safe one.
- Prevent fire hazards during Halloween by exclusively using battery-operated candles or LED lights for jack-o-lanterns and decorations, minimizing the risk associated with traditional candles.
- Prevent fires by keeping flammable materials away from fire sources like fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, candles, and outdoor fire pits.
- Make sure inflatable decorations are secured properly and kept away from sources of ignition.
- Natural decorations like dried corn stalks, hay bales, dried leaves, and crepe paper can easily catch fire. Keep these items away from flames, light bulbs, and other heat sources.
To ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters:
- Remove Debris: Clear yards of leaves, sticks, and other debris to minimize tripping hazards for visitors.
- Check Exterior Lighting: Ensure all exterior lights, including path lights and Halloween decorations, are in working order to provide a well-lit and safe environment.
- Secure Steps and Railings: Verify that steps and railings are secure to prevent accidents and fall during the Halloween festivities.
- Be mindful when choosing children’s costumes of flammable pieces that may drag, flow into, or accidently bump into light jack-o-lanterns, outdoor heaters, and other flame/heat sources that those handing out treats may have along their path or porch.
- Ensure masks allow for proper vision to reduce falls or pumping into heat or flame sources.
- Read labels. Some of the glitter hair sprays, craft sprays that may be used on decorations or costumes, and wigs can be highly flammable.
Check your fire safety
Be prepared for fires anytime of year. October is a good month to checklist fire safety in your home. Checking in October helps ensure a safer holiday season.
- Check any fire extinguishers you may have. Make sure they’re not expired and in working order. Replace if needed
- Test smoke alarms in your home. Replace batteries if needed.
- Fire extinguisher can be difficult for children to use. Consider keeping some fire suppressant blankets readily available in your home. They never expire and are easy to use.
- Review emergency plans with your family. Make sure all members can dial 911 in an emergency. Discuss a meeting places should disaster strike.
- Consider a fire box for important papers and maybe a small cash stash. We keep our social security cards, birth certificates, marriage certificate, and other important papers in ours.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!
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