Treat yourself to a fire-safe Halloween!

    TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Halloween is on Friday night and the Fire
Marshal of Ontario is encouraging everyone to take a few minutes to focus on
safety when considering costumes, decorating, planning for parties and
trick-or-treating this year.
    There are many fire and other safety risks associated with Halloween. To
ensure that everyone has a fire-safe Halloween, the OFM has developed a
Halloween Safety Tips sheet that provides important safety information for
children, adults and the entire family.
    "Halloween is an occasion when people like to use many candles and with
the use of candles there is an increased risk of fire," explained Pat Burke,
Fire Marshal of Ontario. "Battery operated candles and flashing lights are the
safest. If you must use candles, keep them safely out of reach of children and
pets and away from anything that can burn. Candles should never be left
    Keep family and friends safe by ensuring that costumes are bright and
reflective and accompany children when they go trick-or-treating. Make sure
everyone knows the emergency number.
    "It is also a great time to check your smoke alarms to make sure they
work. Only working smoke alarms can detect fire in its early stages."
explained Burke. "Talk to everyone in your home about what to do when the
smoke alarms sounds.
    For more information about Halloween fire safety, visit
and download the Halloween Safety Tips sheet.

                            Halloween Safety Tips
                     From the Office of the Fire Marshal

    Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for children. But make this
Halloween a treat, and don't be tricked by hidden dangers! Here are a few fire
safety tips to help make Halloween night safe and enjoyable for the whole


    -  The best costumes are light coloured or bright and reflective. Keep
       costumes short to avoid tripping and falling. Minimize the risk of
       contact with candles or other ignition sources by avoiding baggy
       pants, loose frills, or billowing skirts.
    -  Give every child a flashlight with fresh batteries. Remind them of
       traffic safety rules, and that they should cross streets at corners
       and never cross between parked cars.
    -  Make sure that children know how to call 9-1-1 or their local
       emergency number if they experience an emergency.
    -  Teach children to STOP, DROP and ROLL should their clothing catch
       fire: STOP immediately, DROP to the ground and cover face with hands,
       and ROLL over and over to extinguish the flames.


    -  Be extra careful when driving as excited children can forget safety
       rules when crossing the street.
    -  Appoint a designated driver if you attend adult Halloween parties.
    -  Accompany children when they go out trick-or-treating.


    -  Consider using only battery-powered lanterns, flashing lights or
       chemical light sticks instead of candles in decorations.
    -  Small flashlight candles are the safest for use in jack-o'-lanterns.
       If you must use a candle, try a tea light or votive candle in a
       non-combustible holder. Always keep candles, matches and lighters out
       of the reach of children. Place candlelit jack-o'-lanterns on sturdy
       tables, away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave
       them unattended.
    -  Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and
       doorsteps where costumes can brush against the flame.
    -  Ensure that electrical outlets are not overloaded with holiday
       lighting or special effects. Keep exit doors unblocked. Replace bulbs
       on outdoor lights. Check that the batteries in your smoke alarms work.
    -  Keep pets safe by ensuring they stay away from the door. Do not let
       them outside.

             Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, Copyright 2008

For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview with the Fire
Marshal, contact: Gina Pontikas, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3138;
Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3178

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