Note: This post appeared last Halloween and is updated with additional information, including safety tips for drivers on Halloween and Halloween safety tips for pets.
Halloween is almost here. Make sure it’s an evening of treats, not tricks, with these Halloween safety tips from CAL FIRE, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Safe Kids Worldwide, and the ASPCA.
According to the NFPA, Halloween decorations are the cause of over 900 home fires each year. Two of every five of these fires were started by a candle. Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper easily catch fire. Keep decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters. And keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
Use battery operated candles or glow sticks in jack-o-lanterns. If using real candles, light jack-o-lanterns using long fireplace matches or an utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn and out of the way of trick-or-treaters. Tell children to stay away from open flames.
Be sure children 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 their hands, and rolling until the flames are out.
Here are some other Halloween safety tips for children:
- Purchase costumes made of flame retardant materials.
- Keep hemlines short enough so children don’t trip.
- To be seen, costumes should be made of a light color material.
- Use glow in the dark reflective tape on costumes so children can be seen.
- Don’t carry real candles.
- Don’t allow children to carry sharp sticks or other objects that can cause injury to themselves or others.
- Use make-up rather than masks that can block vision.
- Have children put electronic devices away so they can concentrate on their surroundings.
- Children under age 12 should be accompanied by an adult for trick-or-treating.
Here are some Halloween safety tips for drivers:
- Slow down and be alert, especially in residential neighborhoods. Trick-or-treaters may dart into the street.
- Look for trick-or-treaters at intersections and on the side of the road.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Get rid of distractions, like your phone, so you can concentrate on your surroundings.
- Turn on your headlights earlier in the day so you can spot children from a greater distance.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Be especially alert for children during these hours.
- Don’t assume you have the right of way. Drivers may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters.
- Watch out for children in dark clothing.
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
Here are some Halloween safety tips for your pets:
- The Halloween hype can cause pets stress. Before trick-or-treating starts, put your cat or dog in a safe, quiet room where they will be safe from Halloween activities.
- Remember, Halloween candy is hazardous to pets.
- Keep your pets away from Halloween decorations that may be dangerous to them.
- If you dress your pet in a costume, make sure the pet feels safe and comfortable wearing the costume.
- Bring your pets inside before dark, and make sure they can’t run away if they get spooked.