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Keep Halloween a fire-free fright fest

A spooky Halloween pumpkin

Do you have a great Halloween costume planned for this year? How about for your kids? Or your pets?

Why do I ask? According to the National Retail Federation, 71.5% of Americans plan to celebrate in a spooky fashion. Even if you're not the dress-up type, that means you're probably planning to decorate your house in some way, shape or form. Overall, it's estimated we'll spend $8 billion on Halloween this year alone.

With all of the money spent on this day, you'll want to preserve your investment as best you can. Especially when you consider that, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Halloween is one of the top five days for candle fires.

Let's talk about candles. According to the NFPA, they are the number one cause of home fires. After you carve your pumpkin masterpiece, think twice before grabbing a tea light to place in it. Rather, place a flashlight, glow stick, or a battery-operated candle inside. When I bought my pumpkin carving kit a couple of years ago, it came with a battery-operated candle that flickers like the real thing.

Keeping Halloween fire free is easy if you just take a few precautions. No one wants their fun memories tarnished by an accidental fire.

If you do choose to use candles as a part of your decorations, make sure you keep a watch on them at all times. Place them on stable surfaces, far from any other decorations, especially dried out cornhusks or other highly flammable materials.

Fires aren't only caused by candles, so make sure those highly-flammable decorations are also placed far from any heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) also recommends checking all power cords for loose connections, frayed or bare wires, all of which pose a fire risk.

Even if your power cords are OK, UL also reminds you not to overload extension cords. If you're using special heavy duty appliances like fog machines, make sure your extension cord is rated to handle the wattage of the device. Keeping Halloween fire free is easy if you just take a few precautions. No one wants their fun memories tarnished by an accidental fire.



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