(WEHT) – As Halloween creeps closer, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) wants to ensure everyone will have a fun holiday.
Between 2014 and 2019, the NFPA reports an annual average of 770 home structure fires that began with decorations, resulting in one death, 26 fire injuries and $13 million in direct property damage. 44% of these fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source such as a candle or hot equipment.
“As more people plan to celebrate the holiday this year, whether it be trick-or-treating or costume parties, we want everyone to know where potential fire risks exist so they can take the steps needed to minimize them,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA.
NFPA’s Fire Safety Tips and Guidelines:
- Any and all decorations should be kept away from open flames, and heat sources like candles, heaters and light bulbs. Common decorations that are flammable include, cornstalks, crepe paper and dried flowers.
- Keep candles well attended, out of the path of potential trick-or-treaters and always keep an eye on the candles. Advise children on the dangers of open flames and always extinguish candles when you leave an area.
- Glow sticks and electric candles are ideal to use inside a jack-o-lantern. If you choose to use a real candle, extreme caution is advised. Use long fireplace matches or a utility lighter and keep it away from other decorations.
- Use caution if you choose a costume with loose fabric that billows or trails behind you as those can easily ignite. If your costume is handmade, the NFPA advises avoiding flammable fabrics like linen and cotton.
- Give or incorporate flashlights or glow sticks to children for lighting. Ensure all masks have eye holes big enough to see clearly.
- Smoke Alarms
- Make sure your smoke alarms are functioning with fresh batteries and are up to date
- Make sure the exits are not blocked by decorations of any kind.
“With a little added awareness and planning, people can enjoy a fun-filled Halloween and stay fire-safe in the process,” said Carli. More information, tips and resources can be found here.