Though a couple weeks ahead, now is the time to begin planning for Halloween says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Preparing ahead and planning for Safety during this night is very important and should be your top priority. There are so many safety factors to consider says DiGiovanna from costume, home, driving, candy safety and more. Make sure you contact your local fire or police department for additional safety information!
Halloween Safety Tips- safety begins at home
Clear your front porch of unnecessary clutter. That garden hose, albeit a great snake, could cause a fall and best belongs in the back yard. Bicycles and scooters, as well, are best kept in the garage for this night. Lawn decorations are fine as long as they are well lit and away from the walkway where small children could bump and fall. (Fear makes us run and if you are going after the fear factor, wonderful, but please, does not risk an injury claim.)
Are all your exterior light bulbs working? Check and replace any that need replacing. Sweep steps and sidewalks to make sure they are free of debris. A rock under a pile of wet leaves could scrape a little knee.
Have over anxious pets, ready to protect you from all the witches, cats, mice, and other night creatures this Halloween? While that is an exceptional quality in a guard dog, it would be best if your animal were restrained this night to prevent jumps, scares, scratches and bites.
Halloween Safety Tips- Prior to leaving the house
If a trick or treater is under the age of twelve, determine which adult or older youth will be accompanying the child (ren) on their candy jaunt. I take the kids every year whilst their father remains at home to do his best to scare the kiddies with his CLAW to hand out candy.
Plan a route. Prior to the night of trick or treating, go over it. Look for houses to veer away from and pot holes or broken curbs to be cautious around. You have the route, no veering away from the route, unless you are aware of the change. Remind children that candy is not to be eaten at all until all children are home. Practice stranger danger games with younger children and make sure they answer correctly that they will not enter into a stranger’s house at all for any reason.
Make sure each child has a light stick, and the adult or the supervising youth has a working flashlight, with fresh batteries. Carry a cell phone; make sure it is charged.
Halloween Safety Tips- Costume safety
If your child will be wearing a mask, make sure that the child has mouth, nose and eye openings. Fire-retardant material was invented for a reason. Use only this material. Costumes should be loose fitting. It can get cold during this time and loose fitting costumes allow for warmer clothes to be worn underneath. If your child balks at this, remind him or her that going dressed at a lumberjack is an option on the table. Have a little princess going out that night? Make sure her dress is not so long as to be easily tripped over (and over again).
Make sure your child knows her name, phone number, and address in case he or she becomes separated from the group. If the child is too young, pin a piece of paper with the aforementioned information to their costume. Have a return time and adhere to it.
Halloween Safety Tips- Driver Safety Tips
Drivers be on the lookout this night for children darting out from between parked cars. See one, wait, chances are there is another one right behind. Look carefully for children walking in the streets and tipping- toeing along the curbs. Back out carefully, honking for warning.
Be Safe, Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna