The Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau is encouraging everyone to keep fire safety in mind this Halloween. The National Fire Protection Association reports that decorations are often the first thing to ignite in home fires during Halloween when located too close to a heatsource. Many of these fire are ignited by a candle. Candles may also pose a serious fire and burn hazard if they come in contact with costumes. Ted Pisciotta, Assistant Chief – Fire
Prevention, suggests that everyone seriously consider the tragic consequences associated with combustible decorations, costumes, and use of candles. Physical injuries could last a lifetime.
• Use flameless candles or glow sticks in jack-o’-lanterns or for light effects. Do not use
• Be sure to stay away from candles and jack-o’-lanterns that may be on steps and porches
of homes visited. A costume could catch fire. Tell children to stay away from open
flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have
them practice, stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with
hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
• 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
• Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
• When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are
making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into
contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are
large enough so they can clearly see out of them.
• According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the leading cause of Halloween residential fires in recent years remains cooking, so pay particular attention in the kitchen during this busy evening.
Always have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call for help. And remember to practice your home escape plan.
For additional information on fire safety, visit the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau under public safety at: www.cityofshelton.org