ROCHESTER, Minn. - For most, Halloween means candy and costumes. But, the Rochester Fire Department also wants to make sure families are thinking of fire safety.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 10,100 fires happened over a three day period around Halloween from 2014-2016.
"Whether we see a big uptick in it or not can depend on the year, but it's something we think about and prepare for," Captain Brett Knapp with RFD said.
A big reason for a fire risk on Halloween is decorations. According to the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, decorations are the first things to ignite in 800 reported home fires each year. More than one-third of these fires were started by a candle.
Capt. Knapp said families should be extra aware of candles used this Halloween.
"The holidays are a lot of fun, people are enjoying it. They like the decorations and the kind of festive time of year, so it's easier to become complacent using candles and other heat sources that you think are safe. But especially with all the other decorations that come with them, it can really be a big fire hazard," he said.
RFD shares these suggestions to lower fire risks on Halloween:
- Use battery-operated candles in jack-o-laterns. If using a candle, make sure it's placed out of the way of trick-or-treaters and far from decorations that may catch fire.
- Avoid costumes with long trailing fabric that can easily knock a candle or decoration over.
- Make sure kids know how to stop, drop, and roll if their costume should catch fire.
- Keep dried cornstalks or crepe paper, which can easily catch fire, far away from heat sources.