Are You Using Dangerous Halloween Decorations?
Halloween is the perfect time to try your hand at home decorating, but be sure you're not using the wrong materials in the wrong ways. Certain decorations can do more harm than good, especially to pets and children. Always remember to avoid fire, choking and tripping hazards with these essential Halloween decoration safety tips.
Candles: While candles are a beautiful addition to any décor theme, as always, they must be used with extreme caution. If you plan to use lit candles, do not leave the room, let alone leave the house. Unattended candles can easily be knocked over by pets, children or a breeze, causing an instant fire which can only be furthered fueled by flammable Halloween decorations. One easy option is to switch out real candles with flameless options, run off battery power and light by and LED. While you may not want to replace your year round candles with these, flameless options are a great choice for Halloween décor.
Candles In Lanterns: Though paper lanterns are a Halloween tradition, it's time to ditch the traditional method of keeping them lit. Rather than using real candles inside of paper lanterns, and even jack-o-lanterns, flameless candles and tea lights are easily available at craft stores, retail stores, drug stores and many other locations. Remove all possibility of starting a fire, and feel free to leave flameless candles unattended. While their batteries will need replacement, the hassle is well worth the eliminated risk.
Black Plastic Trash Bags: Many homes use black plastic bags or sheets to create a blackout effect around their home for the Halloween season. Unfortunately, the plastic is not only flammable, but can easily stick to skin if on fire, creating a nearly inescapable bond with anyone that comes in contact with it. Though black fabric is still flammable, it is a safer alternative to traditional black plastic bags and sheets. As always, remember to keep flammable items far away from open flame and electrical outlets when possible.
Common Flammable Halloween Decor
Unattended Decor Can Easily Catch Fire
Haunted Houses: You may be tempted to host your own haunted house this Halloween, but you may not be aware of the risks. Halloween decorations and small, homemade rooms or sheds can easily catch fire, collapse or create other dangerous situations. Many cities have regulations and codes specific to haunted houses, ensuring they do not violate fire codes, and always provide the safest possible environment for patrons. While hosting your own haunted house for neighborhood friends may seem like fun, it is typically the safest option to simply visit professionally run establishments.
Small Plastic Décor: Piling on the plastic spiders, rats, bugs and mice may be a great way to create scary Halloween décor, but it can also create an extremely hazardous environment for children and pets. If you have either in your home, only use small plastic décor, if at all, in high places around your home where kids and animals cannot reach.
Food Garnish: Like regular Halloween décor, anything extra placed on top of or into food and drinks should never be used for children. Plastic animals like spiders and bugs may make great cocktail garnish, but they should never be put in punch or food served to kids.
Spider Webs For Pets: Another potential choking hazard for pets is synthetic spider web. Along with the plastic spiders often found in them, synthetic spider web can easily get stuck in a pet's throat or intestines, requiring surgery and potentially causing fatality. Use spider webs in higher areas of your home where pets cannot reach them.
Tripping & Visibility Hazards
Costumes: If your children plan to go trick-or-treating, always make sure costumes are the appropriate length and do not block their vision. Long costumes or costumes with dangling accessories can easily entangle a child's legs, causing them to trip and fall. Further, masks or accessories that block their vision can also lead to falls, or create dangerous blind spots while walking around the neighborhood.
Spider Webs: When decorating with synthetic spider webs, never place them directly over doorways, walkways or hallways. Anyone who does not notice the spider web can easily trip, fall or be otherwise injured if caught in the web, especially small children.
Fog Machines: They may create amazing and spooky effects at Halloween parties, but fog machines should be used with caution. Do not operate a fog machine anywhere near stairs or ledges, or any ground that changes levels. The fog can easily block people's view of the ground, causing them to miss a stairway and severely injure themselves. Fog machines are best left for large, open rooms and the outdoors, where they can safely create a mist without blocking vision.
Try switching your Halloween candles to flameless versions to immediately reduce or eliminate your risk of fire around the home, and make your décor safer. Be sure to never place small plastic toys and decorations in reach of pets and children, as well as never using spider webs in areas that could trip someone. Finally, use costumes, masks and fog machines with caution, and never reduce or block visibility for yourself, your guests or children.