On these crisp autumn nights leading up to Halloween, friends and family gather to carve pumpkins and togetherness, amid a backdrop of scattered seeds and saws, grimacing jack-o-lanterns, and paper luminaries. Once the carving carnage has been cleared, it’s time for everyone to display their handiwork, which ranges from the intricate to the downright goofy.

Unfortunately for some, the attention to detail stops there. U.K.-based Swinton Insurance recently surveyed 1,000 of its homeowners’ insurance policyholders to gauge fire hazards. The findings indicated that 74 percent of surveyed families leave lit pumpkins on display in empty rooms. Another 8 percent admitted to leaving lanterns precariously placed on windowsills, where the lanterns could easily topple over and set carpets or other soft furnishings ablaze. The risk of this is especially high when young children and pets are in the vicinity.

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