For immediate release - Oct. 25, 2004
TAVARES — Keen fire-safety sense is paramount during Halloween festivities. The Lake County Fire Rescue Division is encouraging parents and trick-or-treaters to take the necessary precautions to celebrate a safe and happy Halloween Sunday, Oct. 31.
By planning ahead, this Halloween can be a hazard-free and fun evening. Taking simple safety precautions can prevent fires and disasters such as in 1999 when decorations for special events accounted for an estimated 1,000 home fires in the nation, most often involving candles, causing five civilian deaths and $10.7 million in direct property damage.
Halloween Fire Safety Tips
- Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame resistant or flame retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that does not easily ignite in contact with heat or flame.
- Plan costumes that are brightly colored or have reflective material. Be sure, that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all trick-or-treaters and their escorts, or incorporate chemical light sticks into costumes.
- 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.
- Use extreme caution when decorating with candles, and supervise children at all times when candles are lit. Jack-o-lanterns can also be illuminated with battery-powered lanterns or chemical light sticks.
- Be sure to place lit jack-o-lanterns well away from all combustible items such as drapes and decorations, or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.
- Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes.
- Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or bamboo torches when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against them.
- Try to eliminate tripping hazards around porches and walkways. Remove flowerpots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young trick-or-treaters.
- Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event costumes catch fire.
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445