What excites you most about Halloween?  Is it scary costumes, corn mazes, trick-or-treaters, or haunted houses?  Some of my fondest childhood memories of Halloween were the homemade costumes my siblings and I created and the carving of jack-o-lanterns.  It was always fun to set the freshly carved pumpkin on the front porch and watch as my parents lit the candle to make the face glow.

Today, I carve jack-o-lanterns with my nieces and nephews, but we’ve replaced wick candles with battery powered candles to light them.  The battery powered candles are safer to use around small children and they can reduce the threat of fire damage to your home or yards.  Hay, dried flowers and cornstalks make for great outdoor decorations to set around your carved pumpkins, but they are highly flammable, so keep them away from open flames and other heat sources.  According to NFPA, decorations are the first thing to ignite in more than 1000 house fires every year.  It is recommended that if you use a real candle, make sure the pumpkins are well away from anything that can burn and are out of the way of trick-or-treaters, walkways and yards.  Also, make sure you do not leave the candle unattended.

If you live in Lillington or the surrounding areas and are looking for an alternative to neighborhood trick-or-treating or a fun activity for the kids this weekend, come out to Lillington’s Great Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, October 26 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the Lillington Community Center.  There will be games for the kids along with trunk or treat, face painting, carved pumpkin contest, and all kids in costumes will receive a prize.

For more Halloween Fire Safety Tips, visit the NFPA website at www.nfpa.org.