MFD Deputy Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez shares tips for Halloween safety.

Maricopa Fire Department’s Deputy Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez stopped by our InMaricopa studio to discuss the dangers of Halloween and to provide tips to stay safe.

With Halloween taking place on Saturday, children will be running around town in costume to collect candy and adults will be decorating their houses to show holiday spirit. Amidst the fun, the holiday also creates safety hazards. In order to avoid these dangers, community members can follow a few basic tips.

“We want their costumes to be flame resistant and for them to have no open flames out there,” Rodriguez said. “No candles or anything. Glow sticks are probably the best thing to be out there with them, but they can carry flashlights as well.”

Members of the Maricopa Fire Department will be on call all night. Despite the stations being open and passing out candy, residents should still dial 911 with an emergency.

From MFD:

Parental tips
An adult should always accompany children under 12 years of age
Do not use open flame candles in jack-o-lanterns. Commercially available battery lights are much safer and do not pose a fire hazard
Parents should never let their children carve a pumpkin unsupervised
Do not hand out homemade or unwrapped candies to children
Parents should plan a route for your child to use while trick-or-treating and set an early return time for your child
To welcome trick-or-treaters, switch on your porch lights or any exterior lights

Trick-or-Treat tips
Do not go inside anyone’s house. Remain on the stoop or porch at all times
Do not go into a stranger’s automobile
Do not take shortcuts through backyards, alleys or parks
Walk, don’t run
When crossing the street look both ways. Do not cross in between cars.
Always use the sidewalk
Trick-or-treat on well-lit streets within your neighborhood
Children should always travel in a group
Use the buddy system, and make sure you have at least one buddy with you the entire evening
When you return home, have an adult examine and discard all candies that are not factory sealed or wrapped by the candy manufacturer. Never eat homemade or unwrapped treats
Never accept candy from strangers
Children should carry spare change in case of an emergency and they need to call home

Costume tips
Only purchase and use flame retardant costumes
Children should wear white, reflective clothing or use reflective tape and carry either a flashlight or glow stick
Costumes should fit properly. Avoid loose or baggy costumes
Avoid any type of open flame while wearing costumes
Encourage children to wear face paint as opposed to a mask. Face paint should be non-toxic and meet FDA standards
If mask is worn, make sure the eye, mouth and nose opening are large enough to ensure adequate breathing and full range of vision
Children should never carry sharp objects. Ensure all props are made of material that is flexible and nonrealistic looking
Materials made of 100 percent polyester or mod-acrylics are best for making homemade costumes. They are less flammable. One hundred percent polyester and mod-acrylics may be purchased at most local fabric stores
REMEMBER: A flame-retardant costume does not mean that it is fire proof. Always keep your costume away from any type of open flame or other heat sources

Tips for motorists
Be aware of children darting out between parked automobiles
Use caution while entering and exiting driveways
During twilight and evening  hours be mindful of children in dark costumes