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Authorities: Bring along caution common sense
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said Halloween came and went last year with little incident.

Shivers and other public safety officials are hoping for a repeat of that scenario this year, even though the occasion falls on a Friday.

To that end, they are reminding residents to use caution and common sense. Adults, Shivers said, should be careful too.

"When accompanying children on trick or treat outings, wear bright clothing and carry a flashlight or lantern," he said. "And as always when out at social gatherings, please do not drink and drive and always use designated drivers."

The following are some other safety tips from the local fire department:

Before Halloween

• Plan bright and reflective costumes. Make sure shoes fit and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

• Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.

• Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

• Plan ahead to use only battery-powered lanterns or chemical light sticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.

• Teach children their home phone number and how to call 911 if they have an emergency or become lost.

• Review with children the principle of "stop-drop-roll" should their clothes catch fire.

• Eliminate tripping hazards, such as flowerpots, low tree limbs, garden hoses or electrical cords on the porch, walkway and around the house.

Before nightfall on Halloween

• Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects, and do not block exit doors.

• Leave pumpkin carving to the adults.

• Always keep jack-o'-lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.

• Agree on a specific time when revelers must return home.

• Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.

Remind trick-or-treaters

• Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate.
• Only trick-or-treat in well-known neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.
• Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk or at the farthest edge of the road facing traffic.
• Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.
• Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
• Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.
• Don't eat treats until they have been thoroughly checked by an adult at home.
• Notify authorities of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
• Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of appropriate age.