Beware of Halloween fire hazards

Columbia, SC (WOLO) )— Halloween can be full of fun and spooky tricks and treats keeps one of the sweetest holidays as one of the most popular festivities for the young, and the young at heart.

While the costumes and candy can be a real treat, during fire prevention week, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding those who plan to partake in fun that there can also be a variety of fire hazards associated with the big day. For that reason, NFPA is asking everyone to keep some simple steps in mind to stay safe.

According to Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy,

    “Halloween brings an opportunity to wear fun costumes, decorate our homes, and eat too much candy,” However, without proper safety precautions, we run the risk of turning good times into the wrong kind of scary ones.”

According research conducted by NFPA,  between 2012 and 2016, decorations were the first items that went up on flames causing an estimated average of 800 reported home structure fires each year. Those fires, according to the study results in the an average of two civilian deaths, 34 civilian injuries and around $11 million dollars in property damage.

Here is a list of safety suggestions the NFPA hopes you will keep in mind to make the holiday a scream, for all the right reasons.

  • Costumes: Avoid fabric that billows or trails behind you, as these can easily ignite. If you are making your own costume, avoid loosely woven fabrics like linen and cotton, which can be very flammable.
  • Decorations: Many common decorations like cornstalks, crepe paper, and dried flowers are very flammable. Keep these and similar decorations far away from any open flames or heat sources, like candles, heaters, and light bulbs.
  • Candles: Using candles as decoration can be risky if not done correctly. Keep them in a well- attended area out of the path of potential trick-or-treaters. Remind children of the dangers of open flames, and make sure they are supervised at all times when candles are lit. Extinguish candles before leaving an area.
  • Jack-o-lanterns: Glow sticks or electric candles are the safest choice when it comes to lighting up your jack-o-lantern, but if you choose to use a real candle, do so with extreme caution. Light a candle inside a jack-o-lantern using long fireplace matches or a utility lighter, and keep it away from other decorations.
  • Visibility: Give children flashlights or glowsticks for lighting, these can even be incorporated into the costume. If your child has a mask, ensure the eye holes are large enough for them to see clearly.
  • Smoke Alarms: This is a great time to make sure your smoke alarms are functional and up-to-date.
  • Exits: Exits are NOT an appropriate place for decorations. When decorating, ensure that nothing is blocking any escape routes.

For more information on ways you can reduce the risk associated with Halloween, click on the link here :  www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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