Halloween fire safety tips from NFPA stress preventive measures

October 23, 2023
halloween fire safety

As Halloween approaches, the National Fire Protection Association has emphasized the significance of keeping fire safety at the forefront of celebrations:

Halloween decorations and fire risks

“From decorating with jack-o-lanterns and other seasonal items to costume parties and trick-or-treating, many hallmarks of Halloween can present potential fire hazards,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA.

Halloween fire safety: Statistics highlight the urgency

According to recent data from NFPA, candles resulted in an average of 7,400 home fires annually, causing 90 deaths, 670 injuries, and damages amounting to $291 million from 2015 to 2019.

Furthermore, decorations were the root cause for an average of 790 home fires annually, leading to one civilian death, 26 injuries, and a property damage worth $13 million. Significantly, 44 percent of these fires ignited when decorations were in proximity to heat sources like candles.

Recommendations for a fire-safe Halloween

The NFPA proposes several guidelines to enjoy a safe Halloween:

  • Decorations: Ensure highly flammable items such as cornstalks, crepe paper, and dried flowers are distanced from open flames or heat sources.
  • Candles: Be cautious with candles. Position them in supervised areas, away from trick-or-treaters’ pathways. Educate children about open flame dangers, and always snuff out candles before leaving.
  • Jack-o-lanterns: Using glow sticks or electric candles is the safest. If opting for real candles, ensure they’re away from other decorations.
  • Costumes: Steer clear of fabrics that can catch fire easily. If crafting costumes, select materials that aren’t flammable.
  • Visibility: Equip children with flashlights or glow sticks. If wearing masks, ensure clear visibility.
  • Smoke Alarms: A timely reminder to verify that smoke alarms function properly.
  • Exits: Ensure exits remain unobstructed by decorations.

For additional details on staying safe this season, visit the NFPA Halloween safety page. Families can also access sparkyschoolhouse.org and sparky.org for more Halloween fire safety resources.

FSJA Comment

With Halloween celebrations in full swing, it’s crucial to highlight the potential fire hazards that often go unnoticed amidst the festivities.

The recent statistics from NFPA underline the need for awareness.

Decorations, often a centerpiece of celebrations, can quickly turn hazardous if not placed thoughtfully.

Similarly, candles, a common sight during Halloween, have been linked to a significant number of fires annually.

While celebrations are a time of joy, it’s essential to prioritize safety.

By adhering to the guidelines set by experts at NFPA, the public can ensure that the festive spirit remains untainted by unfortunate incidents.

The emphasis on preventive measures, especially during a festival known for its lights, costumes, and decorations, ensures that the community celebrates responsibly.

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