Officials Enforcing Fire Prevention as Halloween Approaches


JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. - As Halloween is fast approaching more families are decorating their homes with Halloween lights, but fire officials say if you don't use caution there could be disastrous consequences.

Halloween is a special time for many people in the area, kids dressing up in costumes, trick or treating and more homes with Halloween lights. Emergency services officials are now urging residents not to overload the amount of lights otherwise, chances of your house catching on fire will increase.

"It's going to increase your risk of fire hazard," said Ed Hannon, deputy director of Jefferson County Emergency Services. "With Halloween coming, there are a lot of other things. People have the pumpkins with the candles in it, if they are on a wooden porch or something  and fall over that could start a fire."

This is one of many tips, fire officials are offering as part of National Fire Prevention Week. While officials are issuing a warning about holiday decorations, they are also urging everyone to use common sense at all times.

"Make sure you don't leave your kitchen and your food unattended so make sure you are present, an adult is present in the kitchen when you are cooking," said Dan Fritsch, an assistant fire chief of Citizens Fire Company in Charles Town. "Second factor is boiling food or using grease to  cook, grease fire  is a common  cause of kitchen fire."

Fritsch also says don't overload the circuits in your kitchen along with not overheating food in the microwave, and they say make sure be careful when you cook with kids around.

"A reminder to keep pots and panhandles away from the edge of the stove away from where children or pets  could jump up and accidentally touch that, and end up having the hot fluids splash on the adult and child," said Fritsch.

Fire officials say to make sure your smoke detectors work and to have an escape plan ready just in case.

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