Police and Fire departments offer Halloween tips
MARION — Police Chief John Garcia and Fire Chief Brian Jackvony would like to offer residents some important safety tips as Halloween approaches.
"Halloween is a fun time of year and we encourage everyone to do their part to make sure the holiday can be celebrated safely," Chief Garcia said. “Parents should make sure their child’s costume is safe and that they know how to safely navigate the neighborhood while trick-or-treating. Drivers should be extra cautious and homeowners should make sure their walkway and porch don’t have any hazards.”
The Marion Police and Fire Departments recommend that residents follow safety tips outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls. Consider adding reflective tape to kids' costumes and bags to help drivers see them.
If temperatures are cold, be sure to have kids wear long sleeves and warm clothing under costumes.
If a child is wearing a mask instead of make-up, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly. Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as a safer alternative to masks. Test make-up on a small area of skin first and remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
When shopping for costumes, look for and purchase ones that are labeled flame retardant.
Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible. A child may be easily hurt by accessories if he or she stumbles.
Children under 12 should always be accompanied by an adult. Avoid trick-or-treating alone.
If older children are going out without parental supervision, go over ground rules and set a curfew. Have them travel in a group, with a cell phone and flashlight. Make sure children know how to call 911 if they have an emergency.
Pedestrian injuries are very common on Halloween. Remind kids to stay in a group. They should walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic. Use crosswalks whenever possible and look both ways before crossing the street.
Only go to homes with a porch light on. Never go into a home or car for a treat.
Examine treats for choking hazards and tampering. Do not eat treats that have been opened, even partially. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Keeping homes safe for trick-or-treaters
Make sure homes are well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to the front door.
Keep all decorations (like cornstalks and hay) away from heat sources and lit candles.
Use battery-operated tea lights instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns.
Put matches and lighters away in a high, locked cabinet so children cannot access them or be tempted to relight jack-o-lanterns by themselves.
"We encourage residents to use alternatives when lighting their jack-o-lanterns this Halloween," Chief Jackvony said. "Battery-operated candles will help ensure a jack-o-lanterns don't become a fire hazard. If you do use real candles, lit pumpkins should never be left unattended."
As always, any suspicious person or vehicle should immediately be reported to Marion Police by dialing 911.