City offers tips for Halloween

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN STAFF
The Hillsboro Police and Fire departments are again concerned that children have a safe Halloween experience next Wednesday.


Ben Steketee, fire chief, said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that Halloween-related injuries can involve burns from flammable costumes ignited by open flames from items such as candles and jack-o’-lanterns, and abrasions from sharp objects attached to masks or costumes.


To keep children safe, CPSC enforces the Flammable Fabrics Act and recalls products at Halloween and throughout the year that can cause injury.


Steketee passed on the following tips for a safe Halloween:


Costumes


1. When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester or look for the label “Flame Resistant.” Flame resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.


2. Costumes should not be long and floppy. Baggy sleeves or billowy capes and skirts can trip you up and catch fire if they brush against jack-o’-lanterns or candle flames.


3. Shoes should not be oversized or high heels-these are hard to walk in and you could fall and get hurt.


4. Costume props should be flexible. Costume props can hurt you badly if you fall. Make sure swords, knives, etc., are made of flexible plastic or rubber.


5. Masks need large eye holes. Make sure your mask fits properly, provides adequate ventilation, and the eye holes allow you to see fully. Don’t wear a mask that is too loose, it can slip and block your vision. Even better, paint your face instead of wearing a mask.


Streets


1. Make sure drivers can see your costume in the dark. Be original with a glow-in-the-dark costume. Jazz up your costume by attaching some reflective tape and stickers.


2. Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.


3. Trick-or-treat in a group. Don’t go it alone while trick-or-treating. Kids under age 13 should go with an adult. Older kids should always go with buddies.


4. Cross streets at crosswalks and intersections. Stop at street corners. Look left, right and left again before crossing and don’t cross between parked cars. Remember, never step into the street without looking to see if a vehicle is coming.


Treats


Check all treats before eating them. Pick only wrapped candy when you trick-or-treat. Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.


Decorations


1. Keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.


2. Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.


3. Indoors, keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could be ignited.


4. Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory (UL). Check each set of lights new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.


5. Don’t overload extension cords.

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