Thursday, October 26, 2023

Commissioner Causey offers tips to avoid the real Halloween horror: fire hazards

Oct 26, 2023

Broadcast quality video

Scarecrows, jack-o-lanterns, and paper ghosts are all signs that Halloween is creeping closer, but the fun and spooky celebrations can also create some truly scary fire safety hazards. Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is offering tips and treats, but not tricks, to have a fire-safe Halloween.

“Halloween is a great holiday for kids with trick-or-treating and costume parties, but unfortunately, decorations are the cause of many home fires around this time of the year,” said Commissioner Causey. “We want everyone, especially parents, to know the fire risks associated with Halloween and take the steps needed to keep your little monsters safe.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an average of 9,200 fires occurs over a three-day period around Halloween each year. Nearly half (44 percent) of these fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source, such as a candle or hot equipment.

Commissioner Causey has created a Halloween Fire Safety video and is sharing these tips from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) to help families keep the holiday fire-safe:

  • Decorations: Many common decorations like cornstalks, crepe paper, and dried flowers are very flammable. Keep decorations far away from any open flames or heat sources, like candles, heaters, and light bulbs.
  • Candles: Keep candles 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 always supervised 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.
  • 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.
  • Visibility: Give children flashlights or glowsticks for lighting, these can even be incorporated into the costume.
  • Smoke Alarms: This is a great time to make sure your smoke alarms working properly.
  • Exits: Exits are NOT an appropriate place for decorations. When decorating, ensure that nothing is blocking any escape routes.

For more fire and injury prevention information, visit NCOSFM.GOV