California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

RELEASE DATE: October 29, 2015

One of the Scariest Days is Appearing this Weekend!
Now is the Time to Be Halloween Safe!

Sacramento – Halloween is a fun and spooky time of year for you and your little ones. It can be a dangerous time as well. Did you know that decorations were the first item to be ignited in an average of 860 reported home structure fires per year from 2009-2013? Nearly half of all decoration fires in homes are the result of decorations being too close to a heat source. Thirty-eight percent were started by candles and one-sixth began in the living room, family room or den.

You can make trick-or-treating safe with a few easy Halloween safety tips:

Trick-or-treating: Never trick-or-treat alone. Always go with a parent or another adult. Never go into anyone’s home without the permission of your parent or the adult you are with. Only visit houses with their lights on. Walk on sidewalks and driveways. Make sure to cross the street at the corner or in a crosswalk.  Be sure to inspect treats before allowing your children to eat them.

Costumes: When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long-trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.

Visibility: Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costumes. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he/she can see clearly out of it or use face paint and makeup as an alternative.

Flammable decorations: 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 and heaters.

Candles/jack-o-lanterns: It is safest to use a glow stick or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times. Do not leave them near flammable objects or where trick-or-treaters may walk. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit.

Exits: Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

CAL FIRE wishes all Californians a safe and enjoyable Halloween! For more Halloween fire safety ideas and tips, please visit the CAL FIRE website at

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CAL FIRE: Now is the Time to Be Halloween Safe!