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Halloween Brings Fire Risks

pumpkin fire

In some ways, Halloween has not evolved out of its medieval roots – particularly when it comes to the ambiance of fire and candles.  That, says Jackson Hole’s Fire Marshal Kathy Clay brings with it certain risks – including the flickering candle that illuminates most pumpkins in and around people’s homes.  She suggests eliminating the open flame with battery-operated devices like flashlights or LEDs designed to look like candles.  With all the open flames, Clay says children’s costumes – particularly home-made costumes that are not treated for flame resistance – can lead to tragic injuries.  She says the long, billowing fabric that may trail from costumes is especially hazardous.  She says instead, keep the costumes more tightly fitted and close to the children, and remind them those jack-o-lanterns on the porch usually are illuminated with candles which are open flames.  Over the past five years, the National Fire Protection Association estimates there have been an average of 1000 home fires annually started from decorations that have ignited.  At the same time, they urge keep exits clear potentially flammable decorations so that escape routes won’t be blocked in the event of an emergency.

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