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Halloween Safety Tips from UL – Underwriters Laboratories
For families across the country, Halloween is the official launch of the holiday and decorating season, which is why it is important for parents to recognize the potential safety hazards that may be associated with many of the season’s celebratory activities. This Halloween, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the leading independent product safety organization, is reminding parents to keep safety top-of-mind before, during and after the night’s festivities.
Safe and Scary Home Decorating
* Inspect decorations for loose connections, frayed or bare wires and broken or cracked sockets when using lights to decorate the home for Halloween. When hanging lights, use plastic hooks or clips to reduce the risk of electric shock and fire hazards. Never nail or staple light strings.
* Don't overload extension cords by plugging in electrical decorations that draw more watts than the rating of the cord. Use special, heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations such as fog machines and electrically-powered inflatable decorations.
* Make sure walkways are well-lit and free of decorations. Decorations that obstruct a walkway could potentially cause eager trick-or-treaters to trip or fall.
* Look for the holographic UL Mark on light strings, electrical decorations and extension cords before tacking up the skeleton and pumpkin lights. UL has been testing products for potential risk of fire, electric shock and other hazards for 115 years. The UL Mark means the product has been found free of foreseeable hazards and is safer for your family.
* Keep candles away from items that easily catch fire, such as decorations, window treatments, and paper. Halloween is the fifth highest day for reported candle fires. Candles are the top ignition source for the majority of the 17,200 reported house fires every year.
Safe and Scary Costumes Dressing
* Look for flame resistant labels when purchasing costumes, fabric and accessories. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the fabric will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source.
* Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping and falling. Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts, which could increase the risk of tripping and are more likely to come in contact with candles or other ignition sources.
* Purchase or make costumes from light-colored material. Light and bright fabrics will be clearly visible to motorists. If your children do wear dark materials, decorate costumes with reflective tape or carry a flashlight for better visibility.
* Use makeup instead of a mask. Masks can obstruct vision and children may find it hard to breathe when wearing them. If a mask is used, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
About Underwriters Laboratories
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems, with 20 billion UL Marks appearing on 72,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 64 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 98 countries. For more information, visit: http://www.ul.com/newsroom.