MPD and MFRD offer COVID-19 Halloween safety tips

Halloween is just around the corner; there are more than ghosts and goblins people should be wary of this year. That’s why the City of Murfreesboro Public Safety officials want everyone to have fun but stay safe and healthy on Halloween during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Murfreesboro Police Department (MPD) officers will be patrolling the City looking for speeders, impaired, and reckless drivers on Oct. 31.

“While our officers are out protecting the streets, we encourage Halloween participants to be vigilant and protect themselves,” said MPD Chief Michael Bowen. “Be sure to follow public health guidelines to stay safe, including physical distancing of at least six feet.”

Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department (MFRD) urges people to participate non-contact trick-or-treating events.

“With Trick-or-Treat on the Square and other large Halloween events canceled this year, there are still a few safe alternatives,” said MFRD Chief Mark Foulks. “Events like the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and Mid Cumberland Community Action Agency’s Halloween contact-free Grab and Go on Oct. 31, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Blackman Middle School.”

Halloween Safety Tips:

COVID-19 Safety Tips

Avoid door-to-door trick-or-treating, if possible. If not, do it in small groups
Everyone ages two and up should wear a face-covering (mask).
Use hand sanitizer.
Distribute only pre-bagged, individually wrapped candy.
Hand out candy outside.
Avoid touching doorbells.
Avoid in-door parties (recommended).
Avoid haunted houses (recommended).
If you feel unwell, stay home.

Halloween Alternative Activities

Pumpkin carving and decorating with family or small groups.
Virtual costume contests.
Watch scary movies at home.
In-door scavenger hunts with your kids.

General Safety Tips

Parents should accompany children, especially small children, while they are trick-or-treating.
Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting.
Warn children to NEVER enter the home or car of someone they do not know.
Instruct children never to run out into the street and to always look both ways before crossing.
Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice: Stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with their hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
If children are going to Halloween parties at a friend’s home, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
Suspicious activity should be reported to MPD immediately by calling 615-893-1311.

Costumes

When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric to aid in preventing your child from tripping or falling. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
Make sure costumes are brightly colored or at least have reflective markings to make them visible to motorists. Use reflective tape to trim costumes and treat bags.
When using a toy firearm with a costume, make sure the toy gun has an orange tip on the end of the barrel.Candy

Give and accept wrapped or packaged candy only; pre-bagged candy preferable.
Children should only accept treats from people they know.
Parents should warn children to have an adult examine all treats before they are eaten.

Decorations

“Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 1,000 reported home fires each year,” according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

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