Halloween Fire Safety
Don’t get spooked by fire this Halloween
Halloween may be full of tricks and treats, but nothing is scarier than a property fire. In the spirit of closing out Fire Prevention Month and celebrating Halloween, we’ve gathered some fire safety tips to keep you and your trick or treaters safe this year. Some start out spooky and some are sweet, but make no bones about it, you’ll want to follow these fire prevention tips to make sure your haunted house and ghoulish games don’t end in frightening flames.
Sweet: Using alternatives to burning candles.
Jack-o-lanterns and luminaries aren’t complete without that Halloween glow, but instead of using a real flame to light them up, use battery-powered, flameless tea lights. Many flameless tea lights mimic the real thing, but you don’t have to worry about the fire hazard if excited trick-or-treaters accidentally knock them over or get too close with those superhero capes and animal tails.
Spooky: Causing an electrical fire.
Lights, fog machines, and yard inflatables have to be powered somehow, but avoid linking extension cords together to power your decorations. This can cause overheating and overloading of the outlet, both of which are serious fire hazards. Make sure you don’t have cords laying on or crossing over areas with a lot of foot traffic either. With trick-or-treaters out after dark, extension cords pose an even greater tripping hazard at Halloween.
FREAKY FIRE FACT
38% of decorations-related home fires from 2009-2013 were started by candles.
Sweet: Knowing your exit plan.
An escape plan is one of the most essential components of fire prevention and safety. The NFPA recommends having two ways out of every room in your house (wherever possible), and practicing your escape plan twice a year. It’s important to identify more than one way out of as many rooms in your house as possible because fires are unpredictable and fast-moving, and your primary exit could end up blocked by debris or flames. For homes taller than one story, make sure you keep emergency fire escape ladders close to exit windows, and be familiar with using them.
Spooky: Blocking your ways out.
Having a home escape plan doesn’t work as well if you take away the escape routes. Don’t let your haunted house decorations turn into a real scare by blocking your ways out in case of emergency. Go all out for Halloween, but keep your exits well-lit and free from obstructions.
FREAKY FIRE FACT
57% of home fires involving cords or plugs are caused by extension cords.
Sweet: Practicing fire pit & bonfire safety.
Whether you’re planning to light a fire for a cauldron full of witches’ brew, or you just want to enjoy the crisp fall nights around a fire pit with good friends, practicing outdoor fire safety will prevent your controlled fire from accidentally becoming uncontained. Fire pits should be at least 10 feet away from any building, structure, or foliage. Check the weather beforehand to ensure it will not be too windy, which could cause sparks and embers to be carried away and ignite elsewhere. Always keep a large bucket of water close by.
Spooky: Forgetting to maintain a safe distance from heat sources.
Extra-long sleeves and long, flowy material are the cornerstones of many tried-and-true Halloween costumes; hay bales, dried leaves, and scarecrows are classic fall decorations. One other thing these have in common? They’re all highly flammable. Don’t forget about this when you’re trying to warm-up on a chilly Halloween night. Keep loose-fitting clothing and dried decorations away from lights, heaters, and open flame.
FREAKY FIRE FACT
45% of decoration-related fires from 2009-2013 started because of proximity to a heat source.
Fire prevention tricks are a real treat. When you’re preparing to light those jack-o-lanterns and debut your costume, keep all these safety tips in mind so that an unexpected property fire doesn’t cause a real scare this Halloween.