Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for many Americans – children and adults alike! It’s a night full of candy, costumes, and fun. While it can be an exciting time for all, it is important to stay safe so that you don’t become another scary statistic.
- Small children should never be allowed to carve pumpkins. Instead they can use markers to draw faces or pictures on the pumpkin while the parents do the carving.
- Open flames left unattended can lead to disaster. Consider using a flashlight or glow sticks to light your jack-lanterns this year. If you do still choose to go the traditional candle route, a votive candle is safest.
- When planning costumes, be sure to incorporate pieces into the costume that are bright and reflective. Whether you’re out trick or treating with your kids or walking to a nearby party, it is important that you make it easy for drivers to see you – especially if you’ll be walking on a street that doesn’t have great lighting.
- Consider using non-toxic makeup as an alternative to a mask this year as masks can limit or block your eyesight .
- Choose wigs and accessories that are clearly labeled as flame resistant. Many people choose to light candles as Halloween decorations, and if you happen to lean in the wrong place, it could mean trouble!
- About twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year. Make sure that younger kids are accompanied by a responsible adult when trick-or-treating. If they’re going with a larger group, there should be more than one adult so that every child can be accounted for at all times. If your older children are going on their own, review/plan their route ahead of time and agree upon a curfew for them to be home.
- Bring flashlights with fresh batteries with you on your route so that you can see where you’re going, and so that others may see you as well.
- Only trick-or-treat at homes with porch lights on. And never go into someone’s home or car for treats.
- Always walk on the sidewalk when available. If you are on a street with no sidewalk, walk on the edge of the street as close to the curb as possible while facing traffic.
- If you will be driving when other are out trick-or-treating, make sure to drive safely. Slow down and stay alert, especially if you are driving in a residential area.
- Staying in to hand out candy? Be sure to keep your front path/porch/etc. clear of any trip hazards and make sure your house is well lit in the area where trick-or-treaters will be walking.
- If your pets get anxious with so many visitors, try keeping them restrained in a back room with music or a television on so that they are unaware of the trick-or-treaters. You may also be able to drop them off at a “day care” for pets. Many places stay open late on Halloween for pets with anxiety.
Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year. Many house fires are caused by pets, especially when left home alone. Read over these tips to help prevent any accidental fire started by your pets and for keeping your pets safe in the event there is a fire in your home. Make sure you include your dog, cat, or other pets in your family’s emergency plan.
Prevent Your Pets From Starting A Fire
- Beware of candles and other open flames. Dogs are curious creatures and may take interest in a flickering flame. If you do have any open flames in your home at any time, be sure to never leave them unattended and to keep an eye on your pets. If you’re using a fireplace, consider getting a fireplace screen to protect pets when sleeping in front of the fire. Also make sure the fire is completely out before heading out or going to bed. Small sparks and coals can get through a screen and result in a fire.
- Secure wires and cords. Pets are often tempted to chew on loose wires and cords. Exposed wires can be a fire hazard, so consider securing any electrical objects so that their cords are out of reach.
- Don’t use glass bowls for your pets’ water. When filtered and heated through glass, the sun’s rays can ignite the wood beneath the bowl and set a deck in flames. Try using a stainless steel or ceramic bowl instead.
Keep Your Pets Safe After/During A Fire
- Place a pet fire sticker on the door or window. In the event of a fire when you’re away, having a pet sticker will help rescuers know how many pets to look for, saving valuable time and hopefully your pets.
- Use monitored smoke detectors. Pets left home alone can’t escape on their own when there’s a fire. Monitored smoke detectors contact emergency responders when you’re not home and add an extra layer of protection beyond that of battery-operated smoke alarms.
- Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from home. Keep collars (with ID tags) on your pets at all times and leave leashes by the entrance or somewhere easy to find in an emergency. This will help firefighters to find and rescue your pets when they arrive.
- Know where your pets’ hiding spots are. It’s important that you can find your pets quickly if there’s a fire. Know where your pets like to sleep and especially where they like to go when they are scared or anxious (under the bed or hidden in a quiet corner of the house somewhere)
- Have an emergency plan in place and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in the event of a fire. Know who will be in charge of getting your pets outside safely. Have someone in charge of leashes and pet carriers so that they can be safely secured once you’re outside. In the event that you can’t find your pet when exiting, leave doors and windows open on your way out and call to them so that they come out on their own.
- Practice fire drills with your pets. It is important to include your pets in the family fire drills. Practice finding them and getting out of the house. Also practice the “open access” scenario where you leave an exit open (preferably the one they’re most comfortable with) and call to them to come out of the home. The more you practice, the more likely they are to come out in the event of an actual fire.
If you have any questions or require restoration services due to fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Tustin at (714)480-1340. Our crews are available 24/7 for services.
We’re thrilled to be partnered with the American Red Cross as a Disaster Responder because here at SERVPRO of Tustin, we’re always “Ready for Whatever Happens” and we want you to be too! You never know when a disaster may strike, so it is important to have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go at a moment’s notice to use at home or to take with you in the event you must evacuate.
According to our friends at the American Red Cross, you should, at minimum, have the basic supplies listed below:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Battery powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
You should also consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit as needed. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
Additional supplies to consider keeping at your home or in your emergency supply kit:
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Blankets or sleeping bags
You never know when a disaster might arise.
Keep you emergency kit somewhere easily accessible for if and when the time comes that you need it. You should also practice fire drills with your family and plan out multiple evacuation routes should you ever need to evacuate your home. Make sure that everyone knows what to do in case of emergency. Whether it’s the Big One, a house fire, or an unexpected storm, we want you to be “ready for whatever happens!”
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for family and friends to come together and enjoy a delicious meal, but it can also be a potentially dangerous situation. Thanksgiving is the number one day for home fires involving cooking equipment, so be sure to practice these safety tips courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association:
- Remain in the kitchen while you’re cooking, and keep a close eye on what you fry! Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Regularly check on food that’s simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep any items that can catch fire such as oven mitts, recipes, towels, and food packaging away from the stove
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
- If you’re cooking a turkey using a disposable aluminum pan, consider doubling up and using two pans to avoid a puncture, as dripping turkey juices can cause an oven fire.
- If you have a small (grease) cooking fire on the stove-top and decide to fight the fire: Smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
In the event of a serious fire at home, call 911 or your local fire department right away.
Call SERVPRO of Tustin at (714) 480-1340. 24/7 Emergency Services and our expert specialists are standing by to answer any questions you may have or to respond to your emergency.