Jack O’Lantern and Decoration Safety Tips Offered in New Report

Posted on October 22, 2012

Halloween is just over a week away, and no doubt kids and even adults across the country are looking forward to the festivities.  We’ve previously brought you safety tips geared toward ensuring you and your children are safe when trick or treating, but there are more things that must be taken into consideration when planning.  To that end, we’d like to bring you a few tips geared toward Halloween decorations as provided by the fire and police departments of Novi, Michigan.

Carving pumpkins is a fun activity and an annual tradition for many families, but it’s not without its risks.  If your kids are going to be engaging in the carving, then lay out some ground rules.  If the child is young, then let he or she draw a face on the pumpkin that they would like to see carved.  That way, an adult can do the actual carving while the child watches.  When you do get ready to carve the pumpkin or pumpkins, make sure your work area is sufficiently well lit and that the surface is flat and in no danger of shaking or tipping over.

When you’re finished carving the pumpkin, it comes time to put some light inside and turn that pumpkin into a full-fledged jack o’lantern.  Persons are cautioned to not use a candle if at all possible.  Candles that operate via batteries and flashlights can be used to simulate a lit flame.  That way, there’s no danger of a fire breaking out.

However, it’s understandable that some people might have their hearts set on a candle to get the full effect of a jack o’lantern.  If you’re one of those people, then make sure to light the candle safely.  Place it inside the pumpkin, and then be careful when you light.  Don’t use short, stubby matches; opt to go with either a utility lighter or longer matches that are typically used with fireplaces.

When the jack o’lantern is ready, make sure you place it somewhere that a fire won’t be in danger of breaking out.  You should never let the pumpkin out of your sight, and it shouldn’t be in the path of anyone who might be walking by, including trick or treaters.  Kids should know to stay away, and they should also be taught how to stop, drop, and roll should their costume or clothing catch fire.

Finally, understand the flammability of crepe paper and other decorations, and make sure that all walkways and entrances/exits are free of objects that could inhibit swift escape should a fire indeed be ignited.

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