By Tyler J. Moffitt
The Safety Advocate
The fall season gives rise to a variety of popular indoor and outdoor activities and events across Canada. Hallowe’en, for instance, is fast approaching and it important to keep safety in mind.
Over the years, I have observed many unsafe and hazardous conditions during the month of October and on Hallowe’en night.
Here in Ontario, the Office of the Fire Marshal reported a fire in 2002 involving an outdoor maze constructed of hay bales. Although the people inside the maze escaped without injury during the fire, the consequences could have been much worse.
This incident with the hay bales demonstrated the significant fire risks and danger they pose.
People need to be aware of the potential hazards associated with indoor and outdoor amusement activities. There are obligations to comply with applicable provisions in the fire code throughout the different provinces and territories.
Owners or operators of indoor or outdoor amusement areas in your community need to be aware of all safety requirements.
Purchase costumes and wigs labelled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. If making a costume, pick material that won’t easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame.
Stay away from costumes that have billowing or long trailing features.
Keep fire safety in mind when decorating. Use flashlights when illuminating jack-o-lanterns.
It’s unfortunate, but the fire and rescue service across Canada responds to fires every Hallowe’en involving candles.
Use makeup instead of masks, which can obscure and limit a person’s vision.
•Be visible and illuminated
It’s highly recommended to go trick-or-treating early enough when there is still light, but we all know that rarely happens. Most children are out when it’s dark, so it’s important to be visible and illuminated.
Costumes need to have reflective tape on them, but most do not!
Everyone, including parents and caregivers accompanying children during Hallowe’en night, needs to carry a working flashlight.
We, as Canadians, need to take responsibility for our health and safety now, and take care of what we have!
Safety—it starts with you.
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.