Top tips for Halloween fire safety

TOWN OF WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) – Between the ghosts, the ghouls, and the goblins, Halloween can be a scary holiday. What’s really scary, though, are all the fire hazards that come with the season.

Halloween decorations, like hay bales, corn stalks, and cotton spread out to be spiderwebs, can easily go up in flames. “Watch what you’re doing,” said Frontier Volunteer Fire Company past chief Richard Silvaroli. “Obviously, if there’s something there that you think is going to catch on fire, don’t have open flames next to it.”

The biggest advice from fire officials: Ditch traditional flame candles for flameless LEDs. The newer lights even flicker, to give a realistic effect without putting off any heat.

That’s important to protect your property and to protect trick-or-treaters whose costumes may come too close to your Jack-o-lanterns.

Even flame retardant materials are dangerous near candles with flames. As News 4 saw during live demonstrations on Wake Up Friday morning, costumes can quickly melt before they smolder or flare up in flames.

“Imagine having that on you. It’s going to melt onto your skin,” Silvaroli warned.

Watch the videos below to see our full coverage with Frontier Volunteer Fire Company members on Friday the 13th.

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Of course, flames aren’t the only hazard when it comes to Halloween costumes. Visibility can be a big issue.

“A lot of people wear a lot of dark stuff. Wear something that’s light,” Silvaroli advised. “Don’t have a mask on, try to wear some type of make up, instead. Have some eye sight.”

“And have some sort of lighted thing so people can see you,” he added.

Silvaroli recommends using glow sticks, flash lights, or little LEDs to help ensure other people on the road can see you.

Although Halloween is usually a fun holiday, safety has to be the priority.

“It’s usually that creepy crawly holiday so a lot of people like to have that feel to it, and you really have to watch because there’s a lot of extra combustion, a lot of extra decoration, a lot of people wearing big costumes and things like that, so you really really have to watch out,” Silvaroli said.

Fire safety is important to keep in mind right now, especially, since this is National Fire Prevention Week and Fire Prevention Month.

It’s a good reminder to check the batteries in your smoke detectors, make sure your fire extinguishers are up to date and fully charged, and practice your escape drills with your family. Everyone should have two routes out of their homes in case of an emergency. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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