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Play Safe This Halloween

30-Oct-2013

As children head out trick-or-treating this Thursday, the City of Saint John reminds citizens to be safe on the streets, and to watch out for potential fire hazards.

For trick-or-treaters:

  • When crossing a street, use intersections with pedestrian signals or marked crosswalks where possible. Otherwise, cross at an intersection. Extend your hand to signal your intention to cross and wait until approaching vehicles stop to let you cross as you can be hard to see at night or with a dark costume.
  • Use sidewalks where available or walk as close to the edge of the road as possible on the left side where you can see approaching traffic.
  • Wear costumes that let you see traffic clearly (i.e, avoid masks that obstruct your vision).
  • Wear light colours or use reflective material and flashlights to make you more visible to motorists.

For motorists:

  • Be extra cautious for pedestrians as many are children.
  • It is your responsibility to yield to pedestrians crossing the street at marked crosswalks and at intersections.

Stay safe from fires:

  • Buy only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame retardant. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. Avoid using billowing or long trailing features.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn including trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
  • If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.