As Halloween marks the kick-off of the holiday season, Underwriters Laboratories reminds families to take the necessary steps to keep their homes and children safe.
NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 12, 2009 – For many families across the country, Halloween is the official launch of the holiday and decorating season. In fact, a recent study predicts Halloween spending may reach $5.77 billion on costumes, decorations and candy. Whether adorning their homes with jack-o-lanterns, decorative lights or creepy cobwebs, many families don’t realize their Halloween traditions might be dangerous if not done safely.
On Halloween night there is a significant increase in home fires, burn-related injuries and falls. Most injuries involve flammable costumes and decorations. Home fires are 70 percent more likely to happen on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day than on any other day of the year according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
"October through January experiences the greatest number of structure fires caused by an open flame," says John Drengenberg, director of Consumer Safety at Underwriters Laboratories. "As parents, we need to make sure we are taking the appropriate safety measures when it comes to decorating our homes and outfitting our children in costumes."
To help parents recognize potential safety hazards associated with many Halloween activities, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the leading independent product safety organization, is offering the following tips as a guide to ensure loved ones enjoy a safe Halloween season.
"Decorations, costumes and candles all pose potentially serious hazards that parents need to be aware of when preparing for the holiday season," says Drengenberg. "If your family plans to keep decorative lights up throughout the holiday season, remember to take them down after 90 days to prevent possible damage from weather conditions and neighborhood animals."
For more information on how to keep your family safe this Halloween and throughout the holiday season, visit www.ul.com/consumers.