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Archived News Release from 2004

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire Department Offers
Halloween Safety Tips

Redwood City, CA - October 19, 2004 - As the spookiest day of the year approaches, the Redwood City Fire Department wants to help parents ensure their kids have a safe and fun Halloween. Here are Halloween safety tips aimed primarily towards the younger members of our community, but which certainly apply to anyone who gets into the spirit of Halloween:

  • Costumes, wigs, masks, props, etc. should be labeled “flame-resistant” or “flame retardant.” When making a costume, choose material that won't easily ignite. Avoid costumes that have features that are too big, billowing, or long trailing.
  • Use extreme caution when decorating with candles. Avoid open flames if possible.
  • Supervise children at all times.
  • If hosting a party, avoid blocking exits with decorations.
  • Use extra caution with dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper which are highly flammable, and keep all decorations away from open flames.
  • When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or long lighter and be sure to place lit pumpkins away from any combustible items.
  • Consider lighting pumpkins using small, inexpensive flashlights.
  • Use flashlights as alternative 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.
  • Instruct children to stay away from open flames and other heat sources.
  • Be sure children know how to “Stop Drop and Roll” in the event their clothing catches fire (stop immediately, drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands, and roll over and over to extinguish flames).
  • Instruct children who are attending parties at others' homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
  • Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costume.

For more tips on Halloween safety and overall fire safety for kids and families, visit the National Fire Protection Association at

The Redwood City Fire Department has five fire stations housing five engines and one truck, and currently has over 70 staff members including firefighters, firefighter/paramedics, captains and battalion chiefs, fire prevention staff, training staff, and administrative staff.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.


Louis Vella
Administrative Chief/Fire Marshal


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