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October 22, 2013

Time to think about Halloween safety

PLATTSBURGH — Halloween is a fun time, but the focus should be on safety, too, the Clinton County Firefighters Association says.

Here are some safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

▶ Choose costumes that don’t have billowing or long, trailing fabric. For home-made costumes, don’t choose fabric that ignites easily if it comes into contact with heat or flame. Make sure masks have eye holes that are large enough for your child to be able to see through them.

▶ Provide trick-or-treaters with flashlights or glow sticks to help them see and so they can be seen.

▶ 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 light up jack-o-lanterns with flashlights or battery-operated candles. Use caution if you use a real candle. Also, keep an eye on children at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Keep lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.

▶ Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

▶ Tell children to stay away from open flames. Have them practice stopping, dropping and rolling, covering their face with their hands and rolling over and over to put the flames out.

▶ Use flashlights instead of candles or torch lights in yards or on walkways to remove the potential for trick-or-treaters to brush up against the flames.

▶ If your kids are invited to Halloween parties at friends’ homes, tell them to pay attention to ways to get out of the house in event of an emergency.

Clinton County Firefighters Association members welcome visits to their local fire stations from anyone with questions about safety or who needs other assistance.

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