Keep your ghosts and ghouls safe this Halloween
Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:00:28 GMT —
Halloween is just more than a week away.
However, that fun holiday comes with some scary statistics. During the three days surrounding Halloween, firefighters nationwide respond to 15,000 extra house fires. Those fires result in 45 deaths annually.
No one wants to see tragedy like that on the spookiest of nights.
Quincy firefighters say accident prevention begins with how you decorate your home. Click here to get some home decorating tips and demonstrations from KHQA This Morning.
Firefighter Michael Dade urges everyone to avoid candles with open flames. Instead he suggests flameless candles and battery-operated strobe lights.
"Be mindful of fire safety when you are decorating," Dade said. "For example, watch your extension cords. Don't plug too much into one outlet. That is something we see quite often with big Halloween displays."
In particular, avoid fire near paper, cardboard and straw bales. Click here to watch a demonstration from KHQA This Morning.
A costume can also hold hidden dangers for your little goblin. Experts suggest selecting the fabric and the style of that costume with care. Click here to learn more from Quincy Firefighter Jerry Smith.
Choose well-fitted costumes, without a lot of flowing fabric. For example full-length princess costumes are too long and could trip a child. They can also brush against nearby flames.
Disguises should also be light-colored and reflective so children can easily be seen. If the costume itself is not reflective, make it that way. Attach reflective tape to the front and back, or ask children to carry glow wands and sticks.
As for the kind of fabric, firefighters urge you to choose wisely.
"When you have the synthetic materials, they tend to melt away a little bit more and that tends to be safer if they do catch fire," Dade said. "There isn't as big of a flame with fabrics like polyester. "Stop, drop and roll" is effective in putting those fires out fast. But natural fibers like cotton and things like that hold flames well and it will be harder for a child to put out. They go up quickly."
Click here to watch a demonstration of the difference in fabrics when introduced to an open flame.
Use face paint instead of masks to increase a child's visibility. Adults should guide children to crosswalks so passing drivers can see them.
Parents - pay attention! It's fun to tweet and Facebook your pictures, but avoid it while guiding children along the street.
The Quincy Fire Department will hold its annual Drive-thru trick-or-treating event on Halloween night from 5 to 7 p.m. Carloads of trick-or-treaters are invited to the Central Fire Station at 9th and York to gather candy from Quincy's bravest.