This year’s UPPER ALLEN FIRE DEPARTMENT CRAFT SHOW IS JAMMED PACKED WITH AMAZING ARTISANS, CRAFTERS, DOOR PRIZES, FOOD. THIS EVENT IS FREE TO THE PUBLIC
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It’s the time of the year for festive costumes, endless candy, spooky jack-o-lanterns, and creepy decorations. The Upper Allen Fire Department is reminding everyone to take a few simple precautions to keep Halloween safe and enjoyable.
Just about everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to safety. Costumes with billowing or long trailing fabric and candle decorations should be avoided to keep fun events from turning into tragedies.
Decorations were the first item ignited in an estimated average of 1,000 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an average six civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $16 million in direct property damage.
U. S. fire departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries, and $438 million in direct property damage.
Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. But by planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using batter-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun!
The Upper Allen Fire Department offers these safety tips:
- When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use 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. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far away from trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards.
- If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames. 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.)
- 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.
Halloween by the numbers
- Decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 900 reported home structure fires per year.
- Nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.
- These fires caused an estimated average of one civilian death, 41 civilian injuries and $13 million in direct property damage per year.
- Forty-one percent of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den.
Source: NFPA Fire Analysis & Research Division (During the five-year-period of 2006-2014)