For most people, autumn means a break from the heat of the summer, trick or treating, costume parties, and brisk walks around the neighborhood. As the new school year begins and the days grow shorter, Fire Safety Education would like to remind everyone of the importance of exercising some basic seasonal safety precautions. By following these simple safety tips, you’ll have be able to stay safe this fall – both around the house, and while out having fun with family and friends.
Pedestrian Safety
According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 6,100 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 medically consulted nonfatal injuries occurred in motor vehicle incidents in 2013.
October ranks as the No. 2 month for motor vehicle deaths in the United States. As the sun begins to set earlier with each passing day, it becomes more important to exercise caution after school and at dusk. The National Safety Council’s research revealed that darting or running into the road accounted for about 70 percent of pedestrian deaths or injuries for children ages 5 to 9 and about 47 percent of incidents for those between the ages of 10 to 14.
A parent or guardian should always accompany young children while out walking the neighborhood.
If you have older children who are heading out alone, be sure to review their planned route for any areas that should be avoided. Have an agreed-upon time that they are expected to return home.
Instruct children to avoid trick-or-treating alone. Only visit homes with a porch light on. Never enter a home or vehicle for the promise of a treat. Instruct them to not eat any candy until they return home.
While walking the streets, both children and adults should put electronic devices down while keeping their heads up and aware of their surroundings.
WALK – don’t run – when crossing streets.
Avoid wearing dark-colored clothing and costumes.
Dress up using only fire-resistant costumes, wigs, and accessories.
Apply reflective tape to children’s costumes and bags for added visibility.
Use only nontoxic Halloween makeup. Always test costume makeup by applying to the wrist or elbow before applying to the face. Remove all makeup before going to bed to prevent eye and skin irritation.
Always watch for children walking alongside roadways, medians, and near curbs.
Exercise extra caution when entering and exiting driveways and alleyways.
Watch for children in dark clothing after dark.
Clean headlights, tail lights, signal lights, mirror faces and windows once per week. Be sure to clean all windows on the outside as well as the inside.
Check to be sure that your headlights are properly aimed. Misaimed headlights can reduce your ability to see the road and blind other drivers. 
Avoid smoking while driving. The nicotine and carbon monoxide contained within cigarettes may obstruct your ability to see clearly after dark.
Reduce your speed and increase your following distances after dark. While following another vehicle, keep your headlights on a low setting to avoid blinding the driver ahead of you.
Avoid glare from oncoming vehicles by keeping your eyes on the right side of the road and using it as a steering guide.
If you have car trouble, pull as far off of the roadway as possible. Turn on your hazard lights and dome light. Remain off of the road and get passengers out of the vehicle.
Call a local heating and cooling company to service your furnace before the cold weather sets in. Ask them to make sure that everything is in working order and that there are no leaks.
Use a fireplace screen to keep sparks from escaping the fireplace. Never leave a burning fire unattended and be sure that the fire is completely out before going to bed.
Always read the instructions before using a space heater. If required, be sure to use proper ventilation. Never use an oven or stove to heat your home. Allow for three feet of empty area around space heaters.
If possible, homeowners should consider not burning leaves and yard debris. Burning leaves produces dangerous and cancer-causing chemicals. If you decide to burn leaves, wear a protective mask and conduct the burn as far away from your home as possible. Do not burn under windy conditions.
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