Watch for kids on Halloween

Don’t get tricked into forgetting that safety is most important this Halloween.

Oak Harbor Fire Chief Mark Soptich advised that everybody remain aware of their surroundings.

“There’s going to be a lot of kids out and it’s getting dark earlier,” Soptich said, adding that since children will be out walking, drivers should be aware that children might jump out in front of cars.

Children should wear bright colors or reflective items, Soptich said. Flashlights or glow sticks could be used for lighting and as part of childrens’ costumes.

“Parents need to know where their kids are. It’s easy to get lost in crowds,” Soptich said.

Soptich said the trick or treating on Pioneer Way is a “safe haven” for children because there are many people, it’s well-lit, the neighborhood is safe and the road will be blocked.

Families can get treats from Pioneer Way merchants and participate in a costume contest on Monday, Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m.

To prevent fires on Halloween, the Office of the State Fire Marshal recommends practicing safety habits, including purchasing costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that will not easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.

Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable so keep these and other decorations away from all open flames and heat sources.

Flashlights or battery-operated candles should be used as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating. Candlelit jack-o-lanterns should be used with caution and children should be supervised at all times when candles are lit.

Exits should be kept clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes. Children should be instructed to stay away from open flames or other heat sources and they should know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.

With the approach of colder weather, Soptich said people should check out and clean their furnaces and fireplaces before using them to prevent house fires.

For information call 279-4700. In an emergency call 911.


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