FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 26, 2015

Trenton, NJ – With Halloween fast approaching, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Fire Safety has issued a series of fire prevention guidelines and associated fire hazards that come along with the use of flammable Halloween decorations, including lights, candles, hay bales and dried cornstalks.

"The combination of candle or electrical lighting with costumes, dried cornstalks and hay can present a fire hazard if not carefully monitored," said William Kramer, Jr., Acting Director of the Division of Fire Safety and State Fire Marshal. "We encourage taking precautions like using battery operated candles instead of those with a real flame to help prevent burns or possible fire damage. It’s also important to never leave a live candle unattended in the home to help avoid fire tragedies."

The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety has issued Halloween Fire Safety Tips designed to make homeowners, parents and caregivers aware of possible fire hazards associated with the annual celebration.

  • Home decorations or costumes that feature dried flowers, dried cornstalks, crêpe paper or paper mache are extremely flammable. All such items should be kept far away from heat sources, including lighting and especially live flame candles.
  • Choose costumes made with flame resistant materials and masks with large eye openings for optimum visibility. Stay away from any that feature long, loose fitting material.
  • Animated decorations should be installed well away from the home and should not block any escape route from it. Place them on a timer to prevent overheating.
  • Avoid using real candles for jack-o-lanterns and other interior decorations.  Place any pumpkins lit with real candles far away from the hosting area for trick or treaters.
  • Choose low heat and energy saving LED over incandescent lights for decorative lighting.
  • Children should have their own flashlights or glow sticks in addition to the ones parents and caregivers should carry at all times during trick or treating.
  • Review the traditional Stop, Drop, and Roll drill with youngsters and toddlers, making sure they can do the drill while wearing their Halloween costume.
  • Finally, keep all children under your care close to you at all times and do not lose sight of them.

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing community risk reduction and firefighter training programs.

Tammori Petty
or Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055