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Halloween can be a fun time for the whole family, but sometimes bad planning or bad judgement can turn the evening into a nightmare!

Fire safety issues have been very much in the news over recent years, but road safety and child protection issues are just as important on Sunday 31 October. Follow these simple tips for a safe and enjoyable night:

Halloween lanteens

For parents:

• Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material
• Avoid cheap floaty materials which may catch fire easily
• Place strips of reflective tape on the back and front of costumes, so drivers can better see your child
• Dress your child for the weather. Add layers if needed

If your child is going out without an adult:

• Make sure your child is in a group of at least three people
• Give them a torch. A mobile phone is also a good idea if you have one.
• Discuss in advance the route they should follow. Ask them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn’t on the route
• Avoid crossing main roads if possible

For children:

• Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger’s house
• Avoid houses you know which have frail or vulnerable owners. They may not share your enthusiasm for Halloween!!
• Try and visit houses of friends, family or immediate neighbours if possible
• Be aware of candles or naked flames on doorsteps
• Should the worst happen and your costume catches fire – STOP, DROP and ROLL

For homeowners:

• Turn on outdoor lights, and replace burnt-out bulbs
• Remove items from your drive or porch that might trip a child
• Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway
• Use an alternative to candles in your pumpkins, such as a torch, LED or a battery-operated candle
• Remember that some children have food allergies. Consider giving other simple treats such as stickers, pens or a yo-yo
• Put a polite notice on your door if you do not wish to have trick or treat visitors

For drivers:

  • Be aware of small groups on pavements and possibly crossing roads
  • Drive to the conditions which may be slippery due to wet leaves and visibility may be poor
  • Slow down in residential areas where groups (sometimes in dark clothing) may be crossing the road