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Have a Spooktacular Halloween with these Safety Tips


Celebrating Halloween, and to what degree, has always been an individual choice. For those who choose to celebrate this year, Halloween is going to look different; there’s no way around it. The Washington State Fire Marshal and Washington State Department of Health have both issued tips to help those who are celebrating have a safe holiday.  

From the Washington State Fire Marshal:

Scarecrows, jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts, and dried cornstalks all show that it’s time for Halloween once again in Washington. Unfortunately, Halloween decorations can become truly scary if they catch fire. By planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. halloween 2020, halloween decoration, 2020 halloween, safe halloween

  • Use battery-operated candles, flashlights, or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns. They are safer than real candles and can prevent kids’ costumes from catching on fire.
  • If you use real candles, place lit jack-o-lanterns out of the path of trick-or-treaters and away from flammable decorations like cornstalks and crepe paper.
  • Show children how to stop, drop, and roll if their costume catches fire. Have them practice, stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.
  • Make sure all smoke alarms in your home are working.
  • Keep exits around your home clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

From the Department of Public Health:

General Considerations
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween, it is important to keep the following in

    • Wear a cloth face covering. Make sure the face-covering fits snugly over your nose and
    •  Avoid confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities. If participating in an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to attend an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, and fully enclosed indoor spaces. Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather.
    • Avoid close contact with people outside of your household. Stay at least 6 feet away from all other people who are not part of your own household.
    • Wash or sanitize your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, stay home and away from others.


  • Have a scavenger hunt at home. Dress up and hide candy or other treats throughout the house or  round the yard.
    • Host an online costume or pumpkin carving contest.
    • Have a Halloween movie marathon with household members.

    If you go trick-or-treating:
    o Stick with members of your household and keep at least 6 feet of distance from any nonhousehold members.
    o Wear a cloth face covering or mask if older than age 2. Make sure the mask is snug around your nose and mouth and does not have holes. A plastic costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face covering.
    o Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating.
    o Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.


    If you give out treats:
    o Limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags. This reduces the number of people who would typically touch items in a communal bowl.
    o If possible, place treats on a table in your driveway or yard to avoid crowds at your front door. To see trick-or-treaters, sit in a chair in your driveway, garage, yard, or porch and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from the treat table.
    o Place a few mini pumpkins or other decorations 6 feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.


  • Halloween gatherings, events, or parties with non-household members that violate the gathering imitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan. Learn more about the gathering limits for each phase.
  • Traditional trick or treating (handing candy to kids who knock on your door) and large groups of trick-or-treaters.
  • Trunk-or-treat gatherings with multiple households that facilitate crowding around treats and violate
    the gathering limitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan.
  • Indoor haunted houses are not permitted. Haunted houses must be designed as a no-touch outdoor
    activity with a one-way path. See Governor Inslee’s Phase 2 and 3 agritourism requirements.
  • Indoor trick-or-treating activities, such as those organized in malls or similar venues.

The above is a combination of press releases from the Fire Marshal’s Office and WA Dept of Public Health. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified their contents. Please celebrate responsibly. 

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