Scary Halloween costumes, yes; scary unsafe incidents, no

  • Published
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Whether it’s dressing up in a costume and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood or being together with family and neighbors, planning a safe Halloween can be the difference between having a fun celebration to one that could be downright scary.

For Joint Base San Antonio members and their families, official trick-or-treating hours are from 6-8 p.m., and celebrating Halloween safely is a matter of following common-sense tips that can make the day enjoyable without any unsafe incidents.

The 502nd Air Base Wing Safety Office shares that there are several things parents can do to make sure their children have a safe and fun Halloween.

To make sure they are seen at night, children should wear illuminated outfits, reflective costumes and reflective belts. It’s also a good idea to give children their own flashlights so they can see what is in front of them and see where they are going to avoid tripping hazards.

It is important for parents to accompany children when they are trick-or-treating and keep an eye on them so they don’t run into the street and get hit by a vehicle or injure themselves, Resendez said.

“The bottom line is parents have to supervise all of the kids,” safety officials said. “Make sure there is safety in numbers, go in groups. That way everybody can take care of each other.”

After children are done trick-or-treating, parents should empty their bags of candy to make sure there are not any harmful objects in the candy. Parents need to make sure the candy is wrapped. Be on the lookout for any candy which is unwrapped or they don’t recognize. Don’t give it to the children and discard it.

During Halloween, several decorations, including carved pumpkins or jack-o’-lanterns will be displayed at homes and residences. However, if not watched or set properly, those decorations can become safety hazards.

JBSA Fire Emergency Services officials said people should use a battery-operated or mechanical light, such as a flashlight or glow stick, instead of a burning candle to light up jack-o’-lanterns or other Halloween decorations.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Halloween decorations cause approximately 800 house fires per year, totaling $11 million in property damage.

More than two of every five fires that occur on Halloween, 44 percent, are because decorations are close to a heat source, such as a candle or hot equipment, with more than one-third of these fires started by candles.

To have a safe Halloween for children and families, the National Fire Protection Association recommends following these safety tips:

  •  Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns

  • When choosing costumes, stay away from long trailing fabric and choose one that is fire retardant.

  • Teach children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.

  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.

  • Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costumes.

  • Remember to keep exits of homes clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes. Make sure all smoke alarms are working.

  • If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

For more information on Halloween safety and tips, contact the safety offices at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-808-7233, at JBSA-Lackland at 210-671-5028, or at JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-1842.

Information on fire safety is at or by contacting the local fire prevention offices at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-221-2727, at JBSA-Lackland at 210-671-2921, or at JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-6915.

(Editor's Note: This article was written by David DeKunder and originally appeared online on Oct. 28, 2021.)