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Halloween Fire Safety Tips from Allied Universal!

Halloween is a time for fun and frights, but behind the festivities lurk hidden dangers – including fire hazards.

From 2000 to 2004, decoration fires accounted for an estimated 1,610 reported home structure fires per year, the majority involving candles as the heat source, and causing seven civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $24.9 million in direct property damage per year.

It goes without saying that Allied Universal wants you to ‘BE SAFE’ – no matter how you’re celebrating the holiday. Whether you’re hosting a party or donning a creative costume to trick-or-treat, we hope you’ll follow these safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association.

•    Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features.
•    Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costumes.
•    Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs, heaters, etc.
•    Use the proper grade of the proper fuel for your liquid-fueled space heater, and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use. Refuel only in a well-ventilated area and when the equipment is cool.
•    Use flashlights or battery-operated candles when illuminating jack-o’-lanterns. Use extreme caution when decorating with candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns, and supervise children at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o’-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches and be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn, including doorsteps, walkways and yards.
•    Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes.
•    Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
•    Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothing catches fire. (Stop immediately; drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands; and roll over and over to extinguish flames.) Cool the burn.
•    Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and that the exit point is properly sealed around the vent, all of which is to make sure deadly carbon monoxide does not build up in the home.
•    Instruct children who are attending parties at others’ homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

Keep these tips in mind when planning your Halloween activities. Emergency situations can happen in the blink of an eye, and we want you to be prepared. Remember – have fun and BE SAFE!

Happy Halloween!

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