Halloween is meant to be a special treat for children and adults alike, but many of its costumes and decorations can pose safety risks. Here are some tips from Los Angeles-area safety officials on the best way to have 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.
- Make sure masks fit properly and eye holes are large enough to easily see out. Consider wearing make-up instead.
Candles and 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.
- 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 chaperon young trick-or-treaters. Everyone should use flashlights or glow-sticks to increase visibility. Use reflective tape on costumes.
- Cross only at corners, not in the middle of the block or from between parked cars.
- Review with children how to safely cross a street with by looking left, right and left again to spot approaching cars. If there's no sidewalk, stay as far left of the roadway as possible and walk facing traffic.
- 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.
- As an alternative, attend an organized Halloween party. It’s fun to get together with other ghosts and goblins! If your children are attending Halloween parties at others’ homes, remind them to be alert for ways out of the home in an emergency.
Adults & Motorists
- Use extra caution while driving on Halloween. Be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters.
- Celebrate responsibly and designate a driver if attending parties or other festivities.