Halloween Safety Tips

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Halloween is a great time to remind families and children about Fire and Life Safety in their community and home. Trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, fireworks, and Halloween decorations are great ways to celebrate but they can also present safety risks that have the potential to become truly scary. Through some simple education and preparation, Halloween can be fun and safe!

Halloween and Firework Safety Tips

  1. Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns
  2. When choosing costumes, stay away from long trailing fabric.
  3. Teach children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
  4. Dried flowers, cornstalks, and tissue paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters
  5. Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
  6. Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes. Make sure all smoke alarms are working.
  7. The only completely safe way to view fireworks is to attend a professional show. With many professional firework shows being canceled this year, it is important to know that fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers.
  8. Fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year. Half of the fireworks injuries seen at emergency rooms were extremities: hand, finger, or leg. One-third were to the eye or other parts of the head.
  9. More than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks annually. It is important to be especially vigilant when using fireworks in areas where there is an annual fire season – like British Columbia. Do not use fireworks in areas that have fire bans, dry grassy areas, or are near the forest.
  10. If you do use fireworks be sure to wear protective eye glasses and gloves. Light at arm's length and then stand back. Never lean over the fireworks and keep hair and clothes away from fire sources. Never attempt to re-light a “dud” or defective firework.

COVID-19 Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

  1. Turn off your porch light and stay at home if you are sick or self-isolating.
    1. Trick-or-treaters can help out by staying away from homes if the lights are out.
  2. Try including a non-medical mask or face covering as part of your costume.
    1. Costume masks should not be worn over non-medical masks or face coverings as that may make it difficult to breathe.
  3. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often. Be sure to wash your hands when you return home and before eating treats.
  4. Skip Halloween parties this year. Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
    1. If you host or attend a small party, keep it within your social group (6 or less people).   
    2. Celebrate with your favourite Halloween movie or other traditions that you can do with your household or social group.
  5. Be more outside, than inside. Keep your space well-ventilated with windows open.  
  6. Be careful with hand sanitizer and open flames - hand sanitizer is very flammable!
  7. Get creative handing out treats: Use tongs, a baking sheet, or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.  
  8. Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl.  Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
  9. Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.  
  10. If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.  If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening

For more information and safety tips, head to the NFPA and BC CDC websites.

BC CDC: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/social-interactions/halloween

NFPA: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Halloween