I don’t need a frightening costume or eerie music to scare you. Actually, there’s probably nothing scarier than the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics regarding fires associated with Halloween.

According to the NFPA, decorations were THE item first ignited in roughly 1,000 reported home structure fires per year during the five-year period of 2006-2010. These fires resulted in an average of six civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $16 million in direct property damage, annually.

Protect you and your family this Halloween with these quick and easy tips.

Scare Safely


  • Stay away from billowing or long, trailing fabric
  • Choose material that won’t easily catch fire if it comes into contact with heat or a flame
  • Make sure mask eyeholes are large enough so visibility is not obstructed
  • Carry flashlights for lighting or make glow sticks as part of the costume


  • You may have paid extra for your child’s fire retardant costume but not everyone else will do the same. Keep your home safe for other trick-or-treaters and use flashlights instead of candles or torchlight’s when decorating walkways and yards.
  • Glow sticks are the new sliced bread!! There have been many advances in lighting since the candle was invented and glow sticks are one of them. Since little to no heat is generated, you can use them to decorate safely!

With a little red cellophane across the back of the eyes of the pumpkin, a glow stick or two inside, and you’ve got a pumpkin that will terrify the strongest heart.

In addition, you can make your bushes menacing by making glow-in-the-dark eye slits out of toilet paper rolls and glow sticks.

  • Keep all highly flammable decorations, such as dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper, well away from all open flames and heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
  • Always keep exits clear of decorations or anything else that could block an escape route.

Prepping Your Child

  • Instruct children to stay away from open flames.
  • Teach them what to do if their clothing catches fire. Make this a serious game and practice with them so they know how to stop, drop, cover, and roll. (Drop to the ground, protect their face with their hands, and roll over and over to put the flames out.)
  • Party advice for you and your children: Whether you’re in a home or in a public facility, always scout out alternative exits in case of a fire or emergency.
  • When you enter public places, such as schools, libraries, houses of worship or restaurants, notice decorations and ask if they are fire proof.

And, if you’ve already heard all of this from your Mother, then of course you know I’m right. But a reminder never hurts.

Until next time…

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