ANTELOPE VALLEY – Halloween is meant to be a special treat for children and adults alike, but many of its hallmarks, costumes and decorations pose fire, safety and other accident hazards.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Fire and Public Health Officials offer the following tips and reminders to help all witches, ghosts and ghouls enjoy a safe Halloween.
- Wear a costume that is easily seen by others, especially motorists, and is easy to walk in.
- Avoid costumes with billowy, long-trailing fabric that can easily ignite or be a tripping hazard.
- Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
- Make sure masks fit properly and eye holes are large enough to easily see out.
- Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
- Consider wearing facial make-up instead.
- Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
- Always go with friends and stay in a group. Plan your route, using well-lit streets and tell your family which streets you plan to use and your return time.
- Parents or other adults should always go with the young trick-or-treaters. Everyone should use flashlights or glow-sticks to increase visibility. Use reflective tape on costumes.
- Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
- Cross only at corners, not in the middle of the block or from between parked cars.
- Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes
- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.
- Never eat any goodies until you are safely home and have checked all treats. Parents should help youngsters check all treats. Throw away candy or food not commercially wrapped and sealed. Notify parents and police if there are any suspicious treats.
CANDLES & DECORATIONS
- Halloween is one of the top five days of the year when candles are used, and according to the National Fire Protection Association, candles cause about 15,000 house fires each year, more than 1,200 serious injuries, close to 200 deaths and $450 million in property damage.
- Always use caution with candles and never leave lit candles unattended.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- Keep all exists clear of decorations and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Consider using flashlights or battery-operated candles instead.
- Light candles inside Jack o’ Lanterns with long, fireplace-style matches or utility lighters.
- Make sure children are watched at all times when around lit candles. Be sure young ones know how to stop, drop, roll and cover their faces if clothing catches fire.
ADULTS & MOTORISTS
- Use extra caution while driving on Halloween. Be on the look-out for trick-or-treaters.
- Celebrate responsibly and designate a driver if attending parties or other festivities.