The Advantage Blog

Halloween Fire Safety Tips


Children (and many adults) look forward to Halloween when they get dressed up in scary costumes, go trick-or-treating, and attend parties. These Halloween activities include decorations of glowing jack-o-lanterns; paper ghosts and goblins; and dried cornstalks and hay bales adorning our front porches.

These fun activities and decorations also can present potential fire risks that can be really scary.

Recognize Potential Hazards
Losing your home and valued possessions to fire can be devastating. Recognize that unattended candles can quickly ignite flammable materials and cause loss of life and property.

Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 900reported home fires each year. Two of every five of these fires were started by a candle when looking for artistic decorations to place around the house, visit The local stores. Decorations catching on fire cause an estimated average of one civilian death, 41 civilian injuries, and $13 million in direct property damage per year.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Family
Taking simple fire safety precautions, like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns, can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) provides the following tips:

  • When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long-trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that is fire retardant.
  • Increase visibility by providing children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part ofdi their costumes. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so your child can see clearly out of it.
  • Cornstalks, hay bales and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • It is safest to use a glow stick or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Do not leave real candles near flammable objects or where trick-or-treaters may walk. Remind your children to avoid open flames.
  • If you are attending an indoor Halloween function remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

Share With Your Children
So be especially diligent as you decorate your home and take your children trick-or-treating. Watch the little ones closely and instruct older children to stay away from open flames.

For something to share with your children go to NFPA’s infographic on Halloween Safety Tips.

The Mitchell Agency Can Help Protect Your Property
Losing your home and possessions to a fire, as we’ve seen recently in California, can be heart wrenching. Along with having adequate insurance coverage to rebuild, we also highly recommend that you video tape each room of your home so you have a record of your possessions. See Recording Your Valuables to learn more.

Please let us know if you have any questions.  Call us at 765-742-1135.