COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As Halloween approaches, Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins and the Columbia Fire Department urge the community to be safe this Halloween.
Candle fires are one of the leading causes of home fires, so Jenkins encourages families to protect their home from fire by ensuring that fabrics and decorations for the holiday are made of flame-resistant materials.
The National Fire Protection Association reported that over a five year period an estimated 1,000 home fires were caused by decorative materials coming in contact with a heat source such as a candle, light bulb or space heater.
As you and your family head out this Halloween, Jenkins says, make sure you follow these safety tips:
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany on their neighborhood rounds.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks, 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 flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern.
- If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to “Stop, Drop and Roll” if their clothing catches fire.
- Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don't eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.
Jenkins encourages families to take part in safe alternatives for young trick-or-treaters, like the City of Columbia's “Spooktacular” Block Party. The event will be held on Halloween (Friday, October 30) on the 900 & 800 blocks of Taylor St from 7:00 p.m.-10:00 pm.