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Halloween safety tips worth noting


Last updated 10/27/2006 at Noon

It’s almost time for witches, ghosts and goblins to appear at parties and on neighborhood streets in search of fun and treats. In order to make the Halloween holiday safe, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends the following tips:

•Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features.

•Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

•Use flashlights when illuminating Jack-o-Lanterns. Use extreme caution when decorating with candle-lit Jack-o-Lanterns and supervise children at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside

Jack-O-Lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches and be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn, including doorsteps, walkways and yards.

•Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes.

•Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.

•Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothing catches fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands and roll over and over to extinguish flames.)

•Instruct children who are attending parties at others’ homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

•Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costumes.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. For more information, visit NFPA’s Web site at

To help spread Halloween safety tips, send someone a special Halloween e-card from Sparky the Firedog at http://www.sparky


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