Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
October 21, 2010. State Fire Marshal Ronald R. Farr today encourages families to take extra safety precautions to reduce fire risk and avoid burn injuries during Halloween where hidden dangers also come in disguise.
"On Halloween there's a significant increase in home fires and burn-related injuries most commonly caused by candles igniting costumes and decorations," said Farr. "Make sure the costumes are flame-resistant and will not ignite easily. When decorating inside or outside the home, do it safely, and have working smoke alarms."
Halloween is the fifth highest day of the year for candle fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). For safety sake, choose alternatives to burning candles by using flashlights, battery-operated candles or electric lights. Use flashlights in pumpkins rather than candles and keep holiday decorations, such as dried cornstalks, away from heat and open flames.
"Decorations are the first thing to ignite in more than 1,000 reported home fires each year on Halloween and more than half are started by candles," said Farr.
Keep children away from candles and open flames, and never leave burning candles or jack-o-lanterns with lit candles unattended. Use flashlights when trick or treating; never carry lit candles, jack-o-lanterns, high heat or flaming decorations which could easily ignite costumes.
Each year, firefighters and paramedics deal with an increasing number of incidents on Halloween that can easily be prevented. Here are some tips to avoid frightful fire hazards:
Also, keeping children safe while trick-or-treating is one of greatest concerns to Fire/EMS department personnel. Parents should warn their children not to eat any of their treats before they get home. All candy should be inspected to assure that it is safely sealed and has not been tampered with. Fruit should be sliced into small pieces and checked for foreign objects. Keep small pieces of candy away from infants and very small children, as they can easily become lodged in the throat and cause choking.
The Bureau of Fire Services wishes all a happy, fire-safe Halloween. Visit the Bureau of Fire Services website at www.michigan.gov/bfsfor more fire safety information.
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