Halloween is meant to be a special treat for children and adults alike, but many of its hallmarks pose fire, safety and other accident hazards. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Fire and Public Health Officials offer the following tips and reminders to help all witches, ghosts and ghouls enjoy a safe Halloween.
- Wear a costume that is easily seen by others, especially motorists, and is easy to walk in.
- Avoid costumes with billowy, long-trailing fabric that can easily ignite or be a tripping hazard.
- Make sure masks fit properly and that you can easily see out of the eye holes.
- Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
- Consider wearing facial make-up instead, but always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
- Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
Candles and Decorations
Halloween is one of the top five days of the year for candle use. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles cause about 15,000 house fires each year, more than 1,200 serious injuries, close to 200 deaths and $450 million in property damage.
- Always use caution with candles and never leave lit candles unattended.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- Keep all exits clear of decorations and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Consider using flashlights or battery-operated candles instead.
- Light candles inside Jack o’ Lanterns with long, fireplace-style matches or utility lighters.
- Make sure children are watched at all times when around lit candles. Be sure young ones know how to stop, drop, roll and cover their faces if clothing catches fire.
- Always go with friends and stay in a group. Plan your route, using well-lit streets, and tell your family which streets you plan to use and when you plan to return.
- Parents or other adults should always go with young trick-or-treaters. Everyone should use flashlights or glow-sticks to increase visibility. Use reflective tape on costumes.
- Cross only at corners, not in the middle of the block or from between parked cars.
- Review with children how to safely cross a street with by looking left, right and left again to spot approaching cars. If there is no sidewalk, stay as far left of the roadway as possible and walk facing traffic.
- Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses, and never accept rides from strangers.
- Never eat any goodies until you are safely home and have checked them all for tampering and choking hazards. Throw away candy or food not commercially wrapped and sealed. Notify police if there are any suspicious treats.
- As an alternative, attend an organized Halloween party. If your children are attending Halloween parties at others’ homes, remind them to be alert for ways out of the home in an emergency.
Expecting Trick-or-Treaters or Guests
- Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
- Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
- Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
Adults & Motorists
- Use extra caution while driving on Halloween. Be on the look-out for trick-or-treaters.
- Celebrate responsibly and designate a driver if attending parties or other festivities.