Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Gives Tips For Halloween

(PRESS RELEASE) - Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King wants to remind Georgians to keep safety in mind when decorating their homes and choosing costumes for their kids this Halloween.

“Halloween is a fun holiday celebrated by families across Georgia, but there are potential risks to be aware of as you celebrate this year,” said Commissioner King. “It is important to take proactive safety measures to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.”

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), candles started more than one-third (36%) of home decoration structure fires during the years of 2011-2015. Electrical distribution, lighting equipment, or heating equipment were responsible for 10% of fires during those years.

Since candles and lighting equipment are very common for Halloween decorations, be sure to follow the below safety tips if you decide to use them this year:

Decorations:
    - Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns.
    - Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper often will catch fire very easily. Keep all of your decorations away from open flames and other sources of heat (lightbulbs and heaters).
    - Keep the exits of your home clear of decorations for an easy escape in case of an emergency. It is a good idea to check your smoke alarms if you will be using electrical equipment.
    - When buying decoration lights, make sure they have been lab-tested and have no frays or damages in the cords.
    - Electrical outlets can be overloaded, especially when powering a lot of decorations. Make sure you unplug any decorations before going to bed or leaving the home.
    - Never use indoor lights outside or outdoor lights inside.
Costumes:
    - Avoid costumes with long trailing fabric.
    - If possible, purchase costumes or fabrics that are not flammable.
    - Use makeup instead of a mask. If using a mask, make sure that the eyeholes are large enough for the child to easily see out of them.
    - Teach your kids to “Stop! Drop! & Roll!”
    - Avoid oversized costumes and shoes.