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Halloween fire safety
Costumes, candy and candles?
At MacDill two out of three is just right

by Master Sgt. Troy Wright
6th Civil Engineer Squadron

The MacDill Fire Prevention Office would like to remind parents to plan ahead for Halloween fire safety. Decorations for special events accounted for an estimated 1,000 home fires, most often involving candles, and causing five civilian deaths and $10.7 million in direct property damage in 1999. Candle use in MacDill government housing is prohibited in accordance with MacDill Instruction 32-102, Installation Fire Prevention Program.

Making sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame resistant can prevent fires and is another step which can be taken. Here are some additional things for parents to remember:

  • Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable and not authorized for use on MacDill.
  • Decorating with any type of open flame device such as candles is not authorized.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks exits or escape routes.
  • Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothing catches fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands, roll over and over to extinguish flames.)
  • Instruct children who are attending parties at others' homes to locate the exit and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
  • Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of a costume.

By following these simple safety tips you can ensure your children have a happy and fire safe Halloween. If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this issue or any other fire safety issue, contact Master Sgt. Troy Wright at the base Fire Prevention Office, at 828-4236.




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