COLUMBUS —With Halloween nearly here many decorations are put up, and it’s important to stay fire safe. Data from the U.S. Fire Administration shows an average of 9,200 fires were reported to fire departments in the United States over a three-day period around Halloween for each year.
State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon urges caution with candles. “Decorations are the first thing to ignite in many reported home fires around Halloween,” he said. “More than one-third of these fires were started by a candle.”
Halloween can be a fun, spooky and safe time of year for children and families with a few easy safety tips:
• Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns.
• If you use a real candle, use extreme caution.
• Make sure children are always watched when candles are lit.
• Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily.
• Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
• When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter.
• Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
• Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
• Tell children to stay away from open flames including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
• 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.)
• If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
• Make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working.
See additional fire prevention resources at the State Fire Marshal website, www.com.ohio.gov/fire.