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Pasadena In Focus
September - October 2011

Take the Scare out of Halloween

Here’s something spooky: many hallmarks of Halloween – jack-o-lanterns, eerie decorations and billowing costumes – are fire hazards.
Candles are the worst, and Halloween is one of the top five days we burn candles.

As we scare up plans for this year, the Pasadena Fire Department urges us to take precautions to make sure the holiday is fun and fire-free.
First, when choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long, trailing fabric. If you’re making your own, choose material that won’t ignite easily.

Make sure your kids can see through the eye holes of their masks, and give them flashlights or glow sticks to carry.

When decorating your house, keep dried flowers, cornstalks, crepe paper and other decorations well away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. Make sure all exits are clear so nothing blocks escape routes.

If you use real candles, never leave them unattended. Use a long, fireplace-style match to light jack-o-lanterns, keep an eye out when your kids are nearby, and place lit pumpkins away from trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards. Better yet, use flashlights and battery-operated candles instead.

Finally, take the time to teach your kids to stay away from open flames, and how to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothing catches fire. Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their faces with their hands and rolling over and over to put out the flames. If your kids are going to Halloween parties, make sure an adult will be supervising, and remind your kids to plan how they would get out in an emergency.

For more tips, call 744-7177.