11 Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treating

Massachusetts
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A child celebrates Halloween by parading through her neighborhood collecting candies from local shops in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

(Mass.gov) – State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey in offering fire and life safety tips for celebrating Halloween said, “Consider using battery-operated tea lights in jack-o-lanterns instead of candles to prevent fires, and keep all decorations away from heat and flames.”

More children are hit by cars on Halloween than any other single day, so it’s important for children to be visible and to practice pedestrian safety. State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Children should carry a flashlight or glow sticks and costumes should be bright-colored or have reflective tape to highlight them. Remind children to cross at corners and use crosswalks.”

Drivers should use extra caution: drive more slowly and turn headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

Reminder: Be Careful with Halloween Costumes, Decorations and Trick-or-Treating

  1. Switch to battery operated candles.
  2. Keep all decorations like cornstalks and hay away from heat sources and lit candles.
  3. Be sure all parts of costumes are labeled flame retardant.
  4. Costumes should not have trailing materials or tails long enough to cause falls.
  5. If a child is wearing a mask instead of make-up, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly.
  6. Make sure your home is well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to your door.
  7. Children under 12 should always be with an adult. It is best to take little ones out early. If older children are going out without you, go over the ground rules first and set a curfew. Have them travel in a group, with a cell phone and flashlight.
  8. Remind youngsters to cross at crosswalks or corners and not to dart out between parked cars.
  9. Teach children to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, do not run across the street.
  10. Fireworks are dangerous and illegal in Massachusetts. The ban includes firecrackers, cherry bombs and party poppers.
  11. After use, remember to put matches and lighters away in a high, locked cabinet, because children may be tempted to relight jack-o-lanterns themselves without having the ability to understand the danger.

For more information on Halloween Safety, contact your local fire department or look at the Department of Fire Services website at www.mass.gov/dfs, type Halloween Safety in the search bar, or call the Public Fire Safety Education Hotline at 1-877-9-NO-FIRE.

PHOTOS: Halloween in western Mass.

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