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Have fun by being safe this Halloween

The 729th Airlift Squadron got into the Halloween spirit by hosting a decked-out Halloween party for squadron members and their families on the B UTA, Oct. 17. Getting into the spirit of the party, many squadron members decorated their offices as well. The party featured a costume contest and entertainment by ‘Steve-O and the Trash Haulers, a band comprised of 729th members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joselito Aribuabo)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joselito Aribuabo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Before the carving of jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, bonfires, apple bobbing and costume parties, Vandenberg's Safety Office reminds base personnel to keep safety in mind on and off the installation during Halloween festivities.

The following are a few recommended Halloween safety tips:

1) Inspect decorations and electrical appliances for damage or wear, which could pose a fire threat.

2) Candles should be kept off the ground and out of the reach of children. An even safer option is using battery operated candles.

3) Costumes should be made out of flame-resistant material, should allow for full movement and should not restrict the occupant's vision. Wear bright materials to be seen in the darkness of night.

4) Inspect all Halloween candy before allowing children to consume it. Throw away candy that has been opened or looks suspicious.

Adults should be especially cautious of their, and other, children during the hours of a neighborhood's trick-or-treating. Balfour Beatty Communities has scheduled trick-or-treating throughout base housing from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.

"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that the number of childhood pedestrian deaths increased four times among children on Halloween evenings when compared with all other evenings," said Staff Sgt. Michael Ferguson, a 30th Space Wing occupational safety and health specialist.

Persons operating vehicles need to drive cautiously; even more so when children are present and in hours of darkness.

"Slow down while driving during hours of trick-or-treating and increase your attention to pedestrians," said Sergeant Ferguson.

When it's time for trick-or-treating, here is some additional advice from the Vandenberg Safety Office.

"Don't let your child go trick-or-treating alone, especially if they are under the age of 12," Sergeant Ferguson said. "Add reflective tape to the costume and make sure the costume is not a tripping hazard. It is also a good idea to have your child carry a flashlight with good batteries while out trick-or-treating."

Vandenberg is offering free glow sticks to base personnel with children. The glow sticks can be picked up in between 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Safety Office (3rd floor, Building 7015). The Safety Office and the 30th Security Forces Squadron will also be handing out glow sticks throughout Vandenberg neighborhoods on Halloween night.

For more information, call Tech. Sgt. Hyrum Lowder or Staff Sgt. Michael Ferguson at the Vandenberg Safety Office at 605-SAFE or 605-7233.