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Local firefighters share safety tips for Halloween decorations

While Halloween can bring out our creative side, we can forget how dangerous some of the decorations in our home and yard can be to us or to trick-or-treaters. (WCCU)

While Halloween can bring out our creative side, we can forget how dangerous some of the decorations in our home and yard can be to us or to trick-or-treaters. It is why officials are reminding you to keep your Halloween display safe this year.

"Pick out something that's in most stores and has good ratings,” manager of a local Haunted House, Johnny Namoff said. “You can see on the back of the item that you're buying has been rated or been tested.”

Namoff has managed haunted houses for years. He said when it comes to props and other decorations, safety always comes first.

“Get something to decorate that you think is cool or will look good in the area, but make sure it won't endanger anybody falling over it,” Namoff said.

The Champaign Fire Department shared images on social media of 6 to 8 inches of hay used as Halloween decorations saying the hay was an extreme fire hazard. Urbana firefighters said to avoid using open flames.

“Just like with Christmas decorations we always tell people anything that can get heated you want to keep any flammables away from it,” fire marshal at the Urbana Fire Department, Phillip Edwards said.

When out shopping for Halloween decorations officials said it is best to use lights with batteries instead of candles.

“About 900 fires a year are caused by open flames being too close to things like straw and decorations for Halloween,” Edwards said. “So we'd like for people to definitely be cognizant."

To make sure trick-or-treaters have a safe and fun experience, officials said to remove any potential tripping hazards and to create a well-lit path, and to make sure the extension cords used outside homes are approved for outdoor use.

To report any unsafe decorations or fire hazards call Urbana or Champaign fire department.

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