By Police Chief Berg and Fire Chief Martin
Keep the scariest thing about Halloween the costumes by going over these safety tips from the Sterling Heights Police and Fire Departments with your kids before they trick or treat:
Trick or Treating
- Set a time limit for your children to be out on Halloween night (6 to 8 p.m. preferred) and review the route they will be taking within the neighborhood.
- Adults and children should carry flashlights; the sun sets around 6:30 p.m. this time of year.
- Children should accept treats only at the doorway; they should never enter a stranger's home.
- Never invite children to enter your home.
- Children should never accept rides from strangers.
- Children should never take short cuts through backyards.
- Children should travel in groups of 3-5 people.
- Adults should escort children while they trick-or-treat.
- Keep pets confined and away from the door, candy and decorations on Halloween night.
- Children should always use sidewalks and not the streets for walking.
- Remind children to look in all directions before crossing the street.
- If you are driving, slow down and watch out for kids, they may dart across the street.
- All fruit like candied apples, and homemade snacks like popcorn balls, should be discarded unless you know the source is safe.
- An adult should carefully inspect all treats before the kids dig in.
- All costumes should be made of light-colored, fireproof, preferably reflectorized material. Reflective safety tape or glow sticks added to costumes and bags helps make your child more visible on a dark night.
- Props such as toy guns or swords should be made of pliable material.
- Realistic replica firearms should NEVER be used.
- Masks should only be worn if they are properly fitted and provide unobstructed breathing and visibility.
- Make sure to review "Stop, Drop and Roll" with your children in case their costume catches fire.
- When picking out a costume, stay away from long, trailing fabric.
- If your child is going to wear face paint, dab some paint of their forearm first to test for allergic reactions. Check for redness, swelling, itchiness or irritation.
- Dried cornstalks, flowers, crepe paper and straw are all highly flammable. Keep these items and other decorations away from open flames.
- Do not block exits in your home with decorations.
- According to the National Fire Protection Association, decorations are the first thing to ignite in 900 reported home fires each year. Two of every fire of these fires were started by a candle.
- Do not drape costumes or fabric over light bulbs which generate heat and can start a fire.
- Make sure temporary extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazards.
- Do not overload electrical outlets when putting up decorations.