Jack-o’-lanterns, wispy spider webs, paper ghosts, dried cornstalks, and hay bales are staples of Halloween porch decor. Unfortunately, these common decorations also present potential fire risks.
In addition to festive decorations, costumes made with flowing fabric can also catch fire very quickly. When jack-o’-lanterns and other open-flame candle decorations come in contact with these materials, a fast-spreading fire can occur instantly. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.
Despite the scary statistic, don’t be too spooked to celebrate Halloween to the fullest! By following a few simple safety precautions, you can ensure the holiday remains festive and fun for everyone.
Talk to your children and remind them to stay a safe distance away from open flames, including jack-o’-lanterns with real candles inside.
Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting as part of their costume.
Keep decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like lightbulbs.
Keep all your home’s exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
Try using battery-operated candles or glow sticks in jack-o’-lanterns.
If using real candles in jack-o’-lanterns, be sure to place them away from anything that can burn and anyplace where trick-or-treaters may walk.
Use flashlights or battery-operated candles as alternatives to real candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters whose costumes may brush up against the lighting.
Whether you goal is to be spooky or fun (or both!), you can still have a festive time while following these simple fire safety tips. For more safety information, videos, and resources, visit NFPA’s Halloween webpage (www.nfpa.org/halloween). Below are some flyers with helpful tips on how to prevent fires and what to do in case of a fire emergency.