It’s that time of year again.  Zombies, Vampires, and other scary costumes, like Travis Kelce & Taylor Swift!  But without some basic, proper fire safety tips, it could be even scarier for your family.  Here are some quick tips for having a fun and safe Halloween this year.

Use Glow Sticks or Battery-Operated Candles:

Real flames can be a great way to decorate your jack-o’-lantern, but should they be forgotten or left unattended can cause big problems.  Use glow sticks or battery-operated candles to create the same glow in a safer way. Eventually the glow stick will fade out or the batteries will run out and you won’t have to worry about the open flames.   As you can see below, you can also create some cool glowing effects by using different colored glow sticks.

This tip also goes for pets that are curious about smells and flickering lights that they aren’t trained for or used to seeing.   Lastly, glow sticks, along with flashlights, will also make for a much safer time trick or treating around your neighborhood, so stock up when you see them.

Stay away from long fabric and blocked vision on costumes:

Speaking of open flames, more than 1/3 of all home fires reported each year start because of a candle or other open flame in the home.  Loose and trailing fabric will move around behind you or your child unnoticed and can catch fire if too close to an open flame.   Also, children’s costumes with masks that block good vision can lead to an accident where they bump into a candle or other heat source that can then start a fire. 

Keep decorations away from open flames and heat sources:

This also goes for your scary decorations around the house.  Make sure to keep them away from open flames and heat sources like space heaters.   Most decorations are made from cheap, very flammable materials and aren’t meant to last from year to year.  Combine good placement with the other steps we’ve talked about, and you’ll be on your way to a worry-free Halloween this year.

Keep exits clear of decorations to keep escape routes open:

When it comes to these decorations, you should also keep them away from blocking any exit routes.  Even temporarily moving furniture for a party or gathering can create unwanted situations where your family and guests can’t easily get out of the house in case of an emergency.  

Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working:

Lastly, this is the time of year to be thinking about your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  When was the last time you changed the batteries?  Do you even have them installed or are they sitting on a table (or in a drawer) waiting for you to get around to it?  Check out our last blog post to read up on how home detectors can save lives.

We know most of these aren’t groundbreaking discoveries in fire safety and you’ve probably heard one or all of them before.  It’s our hope that you just needed this quick reminder to stay vigilant in keeping your family and friends safe this Halloween.  ~~ From your friends at Encore Fire Protection and New Jersey Fire Equipment. 

Source: NFPA Applied Research

Statistics on Home fires caused by Decorations

  • From 2015–2019 there was an average of 790 home structure fires that began with decorations per year. These fires caused an annual average of one civilian fire death, 26 civilian fire injuries, and $13 million in direct property damage.
  • More than two of every five (44%) of these fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source, such as a candle or hot equipment. 
  • More than one-third (35%) of these fires were started by candles.