Halloween is meant to be spooky and fun but it's also important to keep it safe for your children, your friends and yourself.
A simple ghost costume made from an ordinary bed sheet can be consumed by flames if ignited. Purchase only flame-retardant costumes and masks. And be sure costumes fit properly to prevent tripping and falling. Masks should allow full vision.
If trick-or-treating door-to-door, wear something reflective, carry a flashlight and travel in groups for safety. Keep well off the streets and remove masks before crossing the streets. Better yet, have a spooky party and stay in with your friends.
Check all treats carefully before eating them. Report anything suspicious. Instead of a candle to light a jack-o-lantern, use a small flashlight or a liquid light that glows for several hours after you bend it.
Beware of Candles: According to the NFPA, candles are the cause of approximately 15,000 reported house fires every year. To help prevent avoidable accidents, place candles far from decorations, window treatments and paper to avoid potential home fires. Candles, especially in a jack-o-lantern, should be off the ground and out of children's reach. Try battery-operated LED candles for an even safer option.
Light the Way for Trick-or-Treaters: Place lights on the outside edge of walkways and make sure all decorations are clear of where kids will be walking. Decorations that obstruct a walkway could potentially cause eager trick-or-treaters to trip or fall. Avoid using candles to light your walkway.
Thanksgiving Holiday Safety - Turkey Fryers
A longtime favorite in the southern United States, the delicious deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity thanks to celebrity chefs. While some people rave about this tasty creation, there is concern that backyard chefs may be sacrificing safety for good taste. Here’s why using a turkey fryer can be dangerous:
If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, here are some tips for safer use:
- Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil within the cooking pot.
- If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
- Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can also cause a spillover effect. This too, may result in an extensive fire.
- With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.
- Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors, located a safe distance from buildings and flammable material.
- Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
- Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
- Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don’t watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. After use, continue to exercise extreme caution as the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours.
- To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
- Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don’t mix and water can cause oil to spill over, starting a fire or even an explosion hazard.
- The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator.
- Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.
- If the fryer starts a fire, immediately call 9-1-1 for help.
Thanksgiving Holiday Safety Home Cooking Fires Peak on Thanksgiving Day
Home cooking fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving Day any other day of the year. It’s easy to get wrapped up with guests; however it is imperative that cooking never be left unattended. Keep a 3-foot “kid free” zone around all cooking appliances and never hold children while cooking. Turn all handles toward the inside of the stove. Avoid wearing any loose clothing that could ignite. Keep all combustible items away from the stove and clean the stovetop of food and grease. The popularity of turkey fryers has increased as well as the number of fires and injuries from them. Fryers can easily tip over, overflow, overheat and ignite if they are overfilled. Follow all manufacturers’ directions and safety instructions.