Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John W. Oxendine urges parents and children to keep safety in mind this Halloween.
“Candles and paper decorations can be a dangerous combination,” Oxendine said. “Everybody wants to enjoy the fun, but please keep fire safety in mind while celebrating.”
• Costumes should be made of fire-resistant material, and should not restrict the child's ability to see or to move freely. Instead of a mask, consider using makeup, which will allow children to see and breathe easier.
• Choose costume colors that can easily be seen in the dark, or use reflective tape on the costume or trick-or-treat bag.
• Keep matches, candles and lighted jack-o-lanterns out of the reach of small children, and away from flammable materials such as draperies, furniture and paper.
• Since children who are unfamiliar with your property will be visiting in the dark, remove anything, such as lawn equipment, that might cause an accident. Your homeowner’s policy should be reviewed regularly, preferably during the annual renewal period. In addition to coverage for property damage, make sure you have adequate liability coverage to protect you in the event a visitor — such as a trick-or-treater — is injured on your property.
• Adults should keep watch over children who go trick-or-treating. “Close parental supervision can avoid most of the hazards of Halloween,” Oxendine said.
• Make sure your home has smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher. These items can help keep your home safe year-round.