Halloween is a great event for families but the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal is asking everyone to remember to keep safety in mind. Halloween and fall decorations can add an increased fire danger to your home that could create a really scary situation.
According to the US Fire Administration each year from 2017-2019, an estimated average of 9,200 fires were reported over a 3-day period around Halloween. These fires caused an estimated annual average of 25 deaths, 100 injuries, and $117 million in property loss. The National Fire Protection Association or NFPA says decorations were the first thing to ignite in roughly 800 reported home fires every year. Two out of every five fires occurred because decorations were too close to a heat source such as a candle or hot equipment.
The OSFM says to use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns, avoid long trailing fabric in costumes, make sure eye holes are large enough in costume masks, and teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure children know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper can catch fire easily, make sure they are kept away from open flames and heat sources. Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks and keep exits clear of decorations. Finally, make sure smoke alarms are working safely.
The OSFM says that if you can do that, you should have a very safe and fun Halloween.