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Archived News Release from 2007

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire Department Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Redwood City, CA -  October 17, 2007 - As the spookiest day of the year approaches, the Redwood City Fire Department wants to help parents and kids have a safe, fun Halloween. Here are Halloween safety tips aimed primarily towards the younger members of our community, but which certainly apply to everyone 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.
  • Make sure that smoke alarms are installed and properly working throughout the house, and install fresh batteries at the same time clocks are adjusted for the end of daylight savings time.

For more tips on Halloween safety and overall fire safety for kids and families, visit the National Fire Protection Association at The Fire Department also reminds the community that the ending of daylight savings on November 4 is a perfect opportunity to test smoke alarms and replace their batteries – a working smoke alarm is the family’s first line of defense in case of fire. Remember, change your clock – change your smoke alarm batteries.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Take a look at the variety of City webcams at, and subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter and other City documents by visiting


Louis Vella
Administrative Chief/Fire Marshal

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