Halloween costume firesafety

Halloween costumesFlammable Fabrics Act

Store-bought costumes

Making your own costumes

Halloween masks

Fire-safe fabrics for Halloween

Natural fibers

  • Wool is one of the most fire-resistant naturalfibers because it is difficult to ignite, burns slowly and can evensnuff out flames before they spread. If your outfit requires anouter layer or you want to wear something over your costume to keepwarm, consider choosing a wool sweater over another material.
  • Cotton and silk are moreflammable than wool. If either material is part of your costume,see if it's already been treated with a chemical solution toincrease flame resistance, or consider using a spray-on flameretardant to make it safer.

Synthetic fabrics & fabric blends

  • Modacrylics are generally the mostfire-resistant fabrics you can get. This type of fabric ismanufactured specifically for fire safety, but that still doesn'tmake it completely fire-proof. You should still be cautious aroundany fire hazard.
  • Nylon, polyester, andacrylic are also safe bets, but it's important tonote that they are not heat-resistant. If they do catch on fire,these synthetics also tend to melt quickly, which could causeincreased damage the skin and extremely painful burns.

Halloween decorationfire-safety

Decorations to avoid

  • Dried flowers or floral arrangements.
  • Corn husks or dried corn stalks.
  • Crepe paper garland or other paper decorations.
  • Homemade paper-towel ghosts.
  • Driveway lanterns with real candles.

Jack-o'-lanterns and candles

  • Consider using flameless LED candles that are bright enough toilluminate your carving but don't pose any of the risks of a realflame.
  • If you do use real candles, never leave them burningunattended. Whenever you light your jack-o'-lanterns for guests ortrick-or-treaters, stay outside to monitor them. Blow out thecandles before you go back inside.
  • Make sure you scrape pumpkins out all the way before carvingthem. It not only makes the carving easier, but also eliminatesexcess pumpkin debris that could more easily catch on fire.
  • Light candles with long-stemmed butane lighters, matches orfire starters. The extra length will help keep the flame fartheraway from your fingers and sleeves.

Where to put decorations for Halloweensafety

General safety tips

  • Give kids an emergency contact card to keep on their person atall times and a flashlight on a lanyard to wear around their wristor neck.
  • Teach kids to never enter anyone's home or car without you, nomatter what candy they offer or how cool their decorationsare.
  • Check all candy your kids collect before they eat it.
  • Decide on start times, neighborhoods and meet-up areas beforeyou head out into the unknown.
  • Trick-or-treating in a group can be fun, but make sure no onegets lost in the crowd. Consider using a buddy system when goingout in groups.

Take charge of Halloween fire safety

Peter Duncanson is director of businessprocess and branch operations for ServiceMaster Restore,and chairman of the board for the Institute of Inspection,Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). He can bereached at [email protected].Related:

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