I know for some of you, the thought of not using live fire decorations on the spookiest day of the year may sound like blasphemy, but the truth is Halloween is an outdoor and active holiday that is celebrated at night. Add lit candles to the mix, and it could spell terrible accidents which could result in loss of property or death.
According to the National Fire Protection Associationís Fire Analysis and Research Division during 2003-2007 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,260 home structure fires started by candles per year. The NFPA said these fires caused an annual average of 166 civilian deaths, 1,289 civilian fire injuries, and $450 million in direct property damage. Wow. Gory details for a gory day.
The good news is you donít have to use fire, as there are a few decent candle-alternatives for the jack-o-lanterns youíve been eagerly waiting to put on the front porch: Electric bulbs are the first answer, but this would mean extra wires from lantern to lantern for people to trip on. Also, if youíre using compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs), which contain traces of mercury, any accidents would be unsafe. With strangers knocking on your door wanting blood and guts in the midst of your self-made haunted house, you donít want them stumbling upon an environmental disaster!
Another choice is light sticks, which are fun to use and bring an otherworldly feel to any event. However, if one breaks, be careful not to ingest it or expose the contents to ears, eyes or skin. The chemicals inside are not life threatening but do pose dangers to the body and, when disposed of, to the environment.