A night of fairy-tale princesses, pumpkins and ghosts can turn into a tragedy. Halloween is a fun holiday for children and adults alike. However, certain traditions can increase the risk of traffic fatalities and fires. Today, our Safety@TTU blog offers some tips to ensure a safe, fun Halloween for our faculty, staff, students and their families.
While dressing up and collecting candy from neighbors is fun, trick-or-treaters should be aware of the risks associated with walking at night. Because of low visibility and increased pedestrian traffic, drivers and pedestrians must take extra care. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported one quarter of the fatal crashes on Halloween in 2012 involved a pedestrian. Twenty-one percent of these crashes involved a drunken driver.
- Walk on sidewalks as much as possible. When you need to cross a street, use a crosswalk.
- Select reflective Halloween costumes or place reflective tape on your child’s costume. In the dark, it is difficult for drivers to see pedestrians.
- Consider fun, safe alternatives. Trick-or-treating on Halloween night is not the only way to celebrate. Texas Tech will host Tech-or-Treat on Oct. 28 offering children an opportunity to participate in a costume parade and receive candy. The Science Spectrum and local churches also provide alternative events.
- Do not drink and drive. While this is true every night, the increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween makes it especially dangerous. If you are attending a party where alcohol will be served, arrange a ride home in advance.
The National Fire Protection Association reports decorations are the first item to ignite in an average of 900 house fires every year. Whether you want to carve jack-o-lanterns or cover your home in gauzy faux spider webs, you can make smart decisions to prevent a fire.
- When possible, select fire-retardant decorations. If you do choose to decorate with flammable materials, keep them away from heat sources.
- Do not place a candlelit jack-o-lantern near a walkway or doorstep where someone could easily knock it over. Instead, place the pumpkin on a steady surface such as a sturdy table. You should also consider using flameless candles to minimize the risk of fire.
A culture of safety extends beyond the workplace. We want the families of our faculty and staff members to stay safe and healthy.