Halloween sparks more fires

Oct. 20, 2012 at 11:21 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Elaborate costumes, the misuse of gimmicky, unsafe holiday decorations and alcohol are linked to increased fires on Halloween, U.S. fire experts say.

The National Fire Incident Reporting System also reported a rise in incendiary and suspicious fires from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

An increase in candle use is just one facet of the Halloween spirit that increases the risk of blazes on the holiday. Whether candles are used to illuminate a walkway or to transform a pumpkin into a jack-o'-lantern, they're out in full force on Halloween.

Numerous agencies, including the National Fire Protection Agency and firefighter groups, recommend using flashlights or battery powered candles for light instead.

Regarding home fire dangers in general, George Saadian of the Fire Protection Group Inc. recommends homeowners consider installing residential sprinkler systems, which can put out a fire before firefighters arrive on scene or at least hold it off until their arrival.

Sprinkler systems only go off in the area where the blaze is located, preventing its spread and minimizing how much of the home gets doused with water.

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