Don't let fire "bewitch" your children this Halloween! This warning comes from the Signal Mountain Fire Department, as precautions are being made by parents, youth groups, churches, schools, etc., in anticipation of a night of fun on Oct. 31.
Listed below are some life-saving tips that we suggest you follow in preparing for Halloween. Please help us prevent this fun night from becoming a tragedy.
Fire exit should be plainly marked and kept open at all times.
Avoid tricks that could cause bodily harm, destroy property or cause fire.
Keep matches and open flames away from children.
Use small flashlights in place of candles in jack-o-lanterns.
Buy flameproof costumes. Keep all costumes, corn husks and other decorations away from light bulbs and open flames.
Use electric lights around all decorations instead of candles, and make certain that decorations do not contact light bulbs.
An adult should be present at all parties and gatherings.
Dress children in warm, light-colored clothing so that they may be easily seen while crossing streets. Use tight-woven clothing, as loose-woven clothing ignites and burns easier and faster. Keep clothing short to avoid falls.
Make certain that all popcorn poppers and other electrical appliances are in safe operating condition.
Homemade costumes should avoid flimsy materials and the yards and yards of old sheeting popularly used for witch and ghost disguises. A touch of flame could start a fire in such billowing skirts and sleeves. Also, beware of paper bag masks and costumes made of paper. Although economical, they too can ignite in an instant.
Ready-made costumes, masks, wigs and beards should be labeled "flameproof." Do not buy any Halloween items not so marked.
Use flashlights, never lighted candles, to illuminate the faces of pumpkins being carried about. If candles are used in jack-o-lanterns on display, be careful to place pumpkins where they can't set fire to curtains or other decorations and where they can't be tipped over.
Be careful with the tinder-dry cornstalks and other harvest season decorations. Don't place them near fireplaces or other sources of heat, and don't let them block doorways or stairs. Remember that such items are illegal in public buildings unless they are treated with flame-retardant material.
Note: The Signal Mountain Fire Department is giving out trick-or-treat bags to use for Halloween Oct. 28-30 at Pruett's Signal Mountain Market from 5:30-6:30 p.m. each day.