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Halloween safety stressed

Authorities offer tips for evening

POSTED: October 28, 2012 12:01 a.m.
Autumn Vetter/

Kolten Dickerson, left, and Trevor Pittman get dressed in spooky costumes to perform in a haunted house Friday at Chestnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab Center’s annual Halloween carnival.

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Halloween isn’t typically a quiet night for public safety responders, but authorities are urging caution to keep residents safe during holiday activities.

With so many people “out and about,” the night can be a busy one for emergency calls, said Forsyth County Fire Department Division Chief Jason Shivers.

“Our effort here is to minimize those responses as much as possible and keep these children and parents safe,” Shivers said. “Unfortunately, every year, there are a few responses related to trick or treating, and we want to do our part to try to ward that off before an injury occurs.”

The fire department offers tips on accident prevention, such as making costumes or treat bags reflective for better visibility and reducing tripping hazards.

Residents can prevent fire by substituting battery-powered lanterns or glow sticks for candles in decorations and costumes, as well as not overloading electrical outlets.

While trick or treating, parents or responsible adults should always accompany young children, the fire department’s tip sheet states.

Children should stay with a group, travel in well-known neighborhoods and obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.

Fire officials also say trick-or-treaters should not consume any unwrapped food or open drinks and not enter any strangers’ homes or cars for treats.

“Make sure your treats are examined closely by an adult before you consume them,” Shivers said.

Motorists should use caution while traveling through residential areas, and adult partygoers should select a designated driver if they choose to drink.

The American Red Cross also offered tips for residents who plan to greet children, such as leaving outdoor lights on, clearing the porch and front yard and restraining pets.

For trick-or-treaters, the Red Cross recommends visiting only homes with a light on and not cutting across yards or alleys.

Forsyth County doesn’t take an official stance on when trick-or-treating will happen, leaving those decisions to neighborhoods and individuals, said spokeswoman Jodi Gardner.

Online commenters on local Web sites have specified Wednesday, the day of Halloween, as their preference.

The National Weather Service forecasts a partly cloudy night Wednesday with an overnight low of 35 degrees.

 

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