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Be Halloween safe

Halloween is a fun and spooky time of year for kids. Make trick-or-treating safe for your little monsters with a few easy safety tips.

Halloween fire safety tips:

• When choosing a costume stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.

• Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.

• 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.

• It is safe to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o’-lantern. If you use a real candle use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o’-lanterns use long, fireplace style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.

• Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.

• Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches on fire. Have children practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands and rolling over and over to put the flames out.

Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.

If your children are going to Halloween parties at others homes have them look for ways out of the homes and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

Did you know decorations are the first thing to ignite in more than 1,000 reported home fires each year in the United States. I like to remind people that October is Fire Prevention Month. This year’s theme is “Have 2 Ways Out!” The reality is that when fire strikes your home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes.

It is important to have a home escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That’s why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan. This year’s theme, “Have 2 Ways Out!” focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

Every year Brainerd Fire responds to some emergency involving lights or decorations in homes in our community. For more information regarding these safety tips or needing help with a escape plans please call your local fire department or 828-2312.

And as I always say, ”Be Safe Out There”.