While kids out this Halloween may only be concerned about their candy haul, community adults and public safety organizations know that one of the most fun holidays of the year can also be the most dangerous.
The Dearborn Police Department reports that it will have extra officers out patroling the streets both the night before and on Halloween. Additionally, HYPE Athletics plans to send out volunteers to aid in safe street crossing for trick-or-treaters.
But Halloween safety starts at home. Here are some tips to keep your home and family safe to be sure that come Monday, it's no tricks and all treats.
1. Be Careful with Costumes: Parents are the first barrier against an unsafe costume. All get-ups should be fire resistant, masks should have eyeholes large enough to allow for good peripheral vision, and the costume should allow free movement. Additionally, the state Bureau of Fire Services advises against wearing costumes that are too bulky, billowing or baggy to prevent from catching fire or causing a trip hazard.
2. Proper Prop Use: If your child will be carrying a prop such as a pitchfork or sword make sure the tips are flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on. Of course, never carry real weapons of any kind.
3. Fire Hazard-Free Jack-o-Lanterns: If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that children’s costumes will not accidentally be set on fire. Better yet, use battery operated pumpkin lights.
4. Plan a route: If your kids go trick-or-treating alone, make sure you know their route, or use a GPS application on your phones such as Trick Or Tracker, Footprints or Lookout to ensure you know where your kids are.
5. Make Sure Kids Stick Together: Fancy iPhone apps aside, kids–big and small–should never go out on Halloween alone. Make sure your child is going with a group and that they are advised to always stay close together.
6. Better Yet–Send an Adult: But the best way to make sure that trick-or-treaters are safe is to send a responsible adult along with them, be it yourself or another neighborhood parent.
7. Visibility is Key: Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars. Tell your children to only cross streets at cross walks.
8. Stranger Danger: Instruct your children never to go into the home of a stranger or get into their car.
9. Set Guidelines: Make sure you set a time for your children to be home and stress the importance for them to be home at that time.
10. Candy Inspection: Tell your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. Check for opened seals, and be weary of fruit or homemade treats. When in doubt, throw it out.
The Dearborn Police Department also reminds residents to keep a lookout for suspicious activity, and to report incidents on vandalism.
"The department will not tolerate any criminal acts such as vandalism, destruction of property or larceny," they wrote in a release. "As always, if citizens observe anything suspicious or have any complaints, they should contact the police."