MCFRS News Release
Halloween Safety Tips
With Halloween activities planned for all the little Ghosts and Goblins lurking in the neighborhood, the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service would like to offer these simple safety tips for Trick-or-treaters as well as parents and homeowners to make this season safe for everyone.
- Carry a flashlight
- Walk, don’t run.
- Stay on Sidewalks
- Obey traffic signals
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods
- Don’t cut across yards or driveways
- Wear a watch you can read in the dark
- Make sure costumes don’t drag the ground
- Wear shoes that fit (even if they do not match the costume)
- Avoid wearing masks while walking from one house to another
- Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props
- Wear light colored clothing or reflective markings or tape
- Approach only houses with a light on
- Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know
- Make sure your child eats dinner before setting out
- Children should know how to contact you should they need something
- Please accompany young children
- Look for costumes that are made with a flame retardant material
- Set boundaries for your children and agree on a return time
- Inspect your children’s candy when they get home
- Look for suspicious wrapping and throw away anything that looks suspicious
- Remind children to stop at all street corners before crossing. Tell them to cross streets only at intersections and crosswalks. Teach them to look left, right and left again before crossing the street and to continue looking both ways as they cross.
- Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that could trip the little ones
- Put pets away to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater
- Battery powered jack o’lantern candle lights are recommended
- If you use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing
- Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later
- Non-food treats: plastic rings, unsharpened pencils, stickers, erasers etc.
Please have a safe and happy Halloween and please feel free to stop by your local Community Fire Station.
Pedestrian Safety Tips:
- Children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year.
- Before heading out to trick-or-treat, apply reflective wrist bands, tape, and stickers to costumes, bags and sacks and use a flashlight with fresh batteries to see and be seen.
Fire Safety Tips:
- Purchase only those costumes, wigs and props labeled as flame-resistant or retardant. Make sure children know the stop, drop and roll technique in the event their clothing should catch fire.
- Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face. It is safer than a loose-fitting mask that can obstruct a child's vision. If a mask is worn, be certain it fits securely. Give trick-or-treaters flashlights. Make costumes short enough to avoid tripping. Dress children in shoes that fit. Anything they carry could injure them if they fall.
- When planning party decorations, bear in mind that dried flowers and cornstalks are highly flammable. Keep crepe paper and other decorations well away from all heat sources, including light bulbs, heaters, etc.
- Let children be the artists and leave the pumpkin carving to adults. Children can draw the face of the jack-o-lantern, but only parents should handle the knives. Use battery-operated lights instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns. If you must use candles, use votive candles and be sure to place the pumpkin on a sturdy surface away from flammable objects.
Other safety reminders:
- Instruct children never to enter a home or an apartment building unless accompanied by an adult. Restrict trick-or-treating visits to homes with porch or outside lights illuminated.
- Set a time for children to return home. Tell children to bring their treats home before eating them. Parents should check treats to ensure that items have not been tampered with and are safely sealed. Be careful with fruit. Inspect the surface closely for punctures or holes and cut it open before allowing a child to eat it.