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The original item was published from 10/26/2022 10:30:54 AM to 11/13/2022 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: October 26, 2022

[ARCHIVED] As Halloween Creeps Closer, the Norwalk Fire Department Urges Residents to Keep Fire Safety in Mind

(Norwalk, Conn.) Halloween is a fun time of year, full of spooky celebrations and activities, but it also presents potential fire safety hazards. As the holiday nears, the Norwalk Fire Department encourages everyone to take simple precautions that can help ensure the holiday remains festive and safe.

“In anticipation of more people celebrating Halloween this year than in recent years, whether trick-or-treating or attending costume parties, we encourage everyone to be aware of fire risks,” said Norwalk Fire Department Chief Gino Gatto. “According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2014 and 2019, an annual average of 770 home structure fires were ignited by decorations, resulting in a civilian fire death, more than two dozen civilian fire injuries and millions in property damage. Nearly half of these fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source, such as a candle or hot equipment.”

The National Fire Protection Association recommends the following safety tips and guidelines for enjoying a fire-safe Halloween: 

  • Decorations: Many common decorations like cornstalks, crepe paper, and dried flowers are very flammable. Keep these and similar decorations far away from open flames or heat sources, like candles, heaters, and light bulbs.
  • Candles: Using candles as decoration can be risky if not done correctly. Keep them in a well-attended area out of the path of potential trick-or-treaters. Remind children of the dangers of open flames, and make sure they are always supervised when candles are lit. Extinguish candles before leaving an area.
  • Jack-o-lanterns: Glow sticks or electric candles are the safest choices when it comes to lighting your jack-o-lantern, but if you choose to use a real candle, do so with extreme caution. Light a candle inside a jack-o-lantern using long fireplace matches or a utility lighter and keep it away from other decorations.
  • Costumes: Avoid fabric that billows or trails behind you, as these can easily ignite a fire. If you are making your costume, avoid loosely woven fabrics like linen and cotton, which can be very flammable.
  • Visibility: Give children flashlights or glowsticks for lighting. These can even be incorporated into the costume. If your child has a mask, ensure the eye holes are large enough for them to see clearly.
  • Smoke Alarms: This is a great time to ensure your smoke alarms are functional and up to date.
  • Exits: Exits are NOT an appropriate place for decorations. When decorating, ensure that nothing is blocking any escape routes.

With heightened awareness and planning, people can enjoy a fun-filled Halloween and stay fire-safe. For more safety resources and tips, you can visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Halloween

For a fun coloring activity for kids this Halloween, please visit https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/by-topic/holidays/halloween/spooky_sheet.pdf.

 

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