For children everywhere, Halloween is one of the most enjoyable dates in the calendar. However, it can also be a very high-risk occasion when it comes to fire safety. Here, we discuss our top tips for ensuring the whole family’s safety as the Halloween celebrations get under way.
Take care when choosing a costume
For younger ones, Halloween is all about the costumes – usually the more elaborate and detailed the better. But take a few moments to carefully consider the material and design of any costume and whether it’s safe. Choose flame-resistant material and avoid outfits with capes, trailing robes and trains of fabric. And remember, if clothing does catch fire, a stop, drop and roll manoeuvre is required immediately. Stop exactly where you are – do not run – and drop to the ground. Covering your eyes and mouth with your hands, roll back and forth continuously until the flames have been put out.
Use LED candles instead of a naked flame
We understand that, for children, carving a pumpkin and then watching it come alive with candlelight is one of the main perks of Halloween. For safe fun, use LED candles in pumpkins and other handheld accessories. Dot them around your home for atmosphere if you’re hosting a party. They look realistic and are very inexpensive. Alternatively, you can use a torch to project spooky effects on the walls.
Decorate house parties safely
If you’re hosting the annual celebration, take care when dressing the house. Don’t place anything above a naked flame and remember to keep any doors clear of decorations. If you’re digging older decorations out of the loft, inspect them first. Look for cracked sockets, bare wires and any loose connections as they could pose a fire hazard. Also, make sure you have a considered evacuation plan to put in place should a fire break out. Be aware of exits and safe spaces outside of the house to which you can direct your guests.
Test your smoke alarm
It’s simple but great advice. Take the time to ensure all your fire safety equipment is in working order. Testing a smoke alarm is a quick and simple process – and doing it can save lives. Once a month, you should press and hold the ‘test’ button to make sure the battery is fully charged and still working. The battery needs changing every year and the whole unit should be replaced every 10 years. Give yourself that extra peace of mind that your family is safe.
Trick or treat in daylight
If you’re taking the little ones out around the neighbourhood, try to head out in daylight. If you do go out in the dark, never allow children to carry candles. Take a good, lightweight torch with you and add even more fun to proceedings by giving the children glow sticks.
Educate little ones
Teach children about the dangers of open flames and make sure they know to stay well away. Take time to ensure they understand the ‘stop, drop and roll’ moves if their clothes should catch fire – you can even ask them to practice so you’re confident they know exactly what to do in the moment.
Whether you’re spooking from door to door or welcoming ghoulish visitors to your own home for the evening, follow these simple tips for peace of mind that you’re in for a safe and enjoyable Halloween.