Friday, October 29, 2010

Have a Safe and Spook-tacular Halloween

With Halloween quickly approaching, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service offers residents some safety tips to help prepare for a safe Halloween:

Plan a safe route.

Children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year. Accompany children and remind them to stop at all street corners, cross only at intersections and crosswalks. Teach them to look left, right and left before crossing the street and to continue looking both ways as they cross. If you’re a motorist, please slow down and be prepared to give trick or treaters a brake.

Stay in familiar neighborhoods and have an adult accompany trick or treaters. Visit only those houses where the lights are on. Accept treats only in the doorway and NEVER go inside a house.

Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.

Safety in numbers. If they’re old enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, designate a route before the kids go trick or treating, tell your kids to stay in a group, avoid taking short cuts through backyards and alleys and ask them to check in regularly.

Have an adult inspect treats BEFORE eating anything. Do not eat any unwrapped, partially wrapped, or homemade-looking treats.

Ensure trick-or-treaters stay away from open flames or jack-o-lanterns with candles burning.

Stay on the sidewalk. Don't walk or run in the street.

Be a good neighbor.

Keep your porch lights on and eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Remove outdoor safety hazards such as toys, bicycles and lawn ornaments. Make sure the driveway and steps are cleared of leaves, which can be a slipping and falling hazard. Make sure that the driveway and walks are well lit for incoming trick-or-treaters. Replace burned-out or broken light bulbs.

Pets get frightened on Halloween. Confine your pets for their safety and for that of trick or treaters.

Be Safe – Be Seen.

Encourage kids to follow all the rules for pedestrian safety. That includes obeying all traffic laws, looking both ways before crossing, using crosswalks, crossing at intersections and corners and never darting between parked cars.

Consider adding reflective tape or decals to costumes. Be sure kids carry a flashlight and use glow sticks for extra visibility.

Decorate Safely.

Illuminate your jack-o’-lanterns with flashlights or battery-operated candles instead of real ones. You won’t have the worries of an open flame coming in contact with anything . . .or anyone.

If you do use candles, keep them well away from where trick or treaters will be walking or standing.

Review with your children the principle of “stop, drop and roll” should their clothes catch fire.

When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant. Shorter IS safer. Ensure costumes are not so long that children could trip and shoes should fit - - - even if they don’t go with the costume.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.

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