Halloween is a time for celebration, but State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reminds the public some costumes and decorations are highly flammable. Browning says costumes should have a fire retardant coating, so they don’t easily burn. He also says nearly half of all home fires during Halloween are a result of decorations too close to a heat source.
“The holiday weekend of Halloween and into Halloween night, a lot of cooking is going on. So we would caution people, if you are cooking in your kitchen, you want to supervise that and not have children in the kitchen. Have smoke alarms working in your home.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are over 10,000 fires in America each year in the days leading up to and following Halloween. Browning says when cooking outside, make sure to keep grills and fire pits away from the home and wooden decks.
“But it’s the same general safety but what happens is we get so busy with the holidays that we forget about the basic safety practices and messages.”
Browning says fire around Halloween results in about 25 deaths and 125 injuries. He says jack-o-lanterns, paper spiders and dried cornstalks are very common decorations but are highly flammable.
“If you have a wall space, you wouldn’t want decorations to consume more than 20% of that wall space so if they were to catch on fire, the fire could be controlled.”