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October 25, 2011 > Stay safe on the spookiest day of the year

Stay safe on the spookiest day of the year

Submitted By National Fire Protection Association

As families across the country begin to prepare for what has become an increasingly popular holiday, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building and life safety, reminds everyone to take a few simple safety precautions to ensure a fun, safe and not too scary Halloween.

"It's an exciting holiday especially for the kids but if precautions aren't taken, scary things can happen," said Lorraine Carli NFPA's VP of Communications. "Candle decorations and flowing costumes present additional fire hazards. Candles a leading cause of U.S. home fires and Halloween is one of the top five days for candle fires."

NFPA offers the following safety tips to help keep horror from striking your home this season:

When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long, trailing fabric. If you make your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child wears a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see properly.

Provide children with flashlights to see their way or glow sticks as part of their costume.

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.

It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a Jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, exercise extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside Jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Place illuminated pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.

Candle decorations should be well-attended at all times.

Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

Tell children to stay away from open flames. Ensure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. Make them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands and rolling over and over to extinguish the flames.

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.

If your children are going to Halloween parties at other homes, tell them to identify ways out of the building and to plan how they would get out in an emergency.

Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult and stay together as a group and walk from house to house.

Review how to cross a street with your child. Look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street.

Make a rule that children will not eat any treat until it has been brought home and examined by a grown-up.

For more information, visit www.nfpa.org

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