Springfield police, fire chiefs share Halloween safety tips

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

With Halloween and trick-or-treat fast approaching, Springfield Fire Rescue Division Chief Jacob King and Springfield Police Division Chief Allison Elliott have shared tips for staying safe.

During a Facebook live, the chiefs stressed the importance of enjoying the holiday events while avoiding accidents or other mishaps. The chiefs discussed costume safety, driving tips, candy safety and other important things to keep in mind.

“There’s a couple of things that are very important not only for kids or their parents, but some tips so that we can keep everyone safe,” King said.

Parents should ensure that their children’s costume don’t present a trip hazard by being too long or masks obstructing their field of view, King said. He said it’s a good idea to have kids try on their mask and walk around to make sure they can see.

Elliott said as a child she was excited to try on her costume before trick-or-treating, and many kids may feel the same This is an opportunity to make sure the costume doesn’t present a hazard.

King said having flashlights, glow sticks and reflective belts or tape will allow drivers and other people who are outside to see children in costume while it is dark, while also allowing for easier navigation.

When crossing the street, Elliott said it is a good idea to make eye contact with a driver and wave before crossing to make sure they stop. Drivers should be extra vigilant, refrain from engaging in any activity that is distracting while driving and drive slower during Halloween evets and trick-or-treat.

King said trick-or-treaters should avoid cutting between parked cars to cross the street because that limits a driver’s ability to spot a pedestrian and can result in an accident.

Children who are not trick-or-treating with an adult should travel with a group of people, Elliott said.

“Safety in numbers, always,” Elliott said.

In case of emergency, trick-or-treaters should make sure their cell phones are charged to make calls, Elliott said. Parents or guardians can use GPS tracking to check on their kids and those walking outdoors should refrain from staring down at their devices and instead be aware of their surroundings.

Regarding candy safety, Elliott said many people may be nervous of sweets being tampered with, and parents or guardians should “trust your gut” and throw away any candy they believe appears suspicious.

King said all toy guns or other weapons should appear obviously fake to avoid anyone panicking.

More Halloween safety tips will be posted on the city of Springfield, Fire Rescue Division an Police Division’s Facebook pages leading up to the holiday, King said.

About the Author