Mifflin Police and Fire Offer Safety Tips for Beggar's Night

Tonight is Beggar's Night in Gahanna and Mifflin Township from 6 to 8 p.m. Mifflin Township Police and firefighters want to remind parents and drivers that children, in their excitement, aren’t always paying as much attention as they should be and, as it gets dark, it is difficult to see them. 

Be cautious this evening as there are children out in your neighborhoods. For parents, the key is to stay visible. Whether it’s the child's costume that illuminates or a flashlight, there are lots of options. Get your child a set of glow sticks, walk with them using the flashlight on your cell phone, or use reflective tape around their ankles and wrists.

Discuss the following with your children before venturing out:

- Do not go out alone on Halloween. An adult should escort the children while trick or treating.
- Children should not eat treats until they have been examined by an adult.
- All fruit should be cut and and examined before eating.
- Children should never enter a stranger's home or accept rides from strangers.
- Stay on the main roads; do not take shortcuts through backyards or alleys.
- Stay with a group.
- Adults should carry flashlights.
- Walk, not run, while trick-or-treating.
- Props such as toy guns or swords should be made of pliable material; realistic replica firearms should never be used.
- Use sidewalks whenever possible and look in all directions before crossing the street.

Additionally, Mifflin Township Firefighters remind parents that while some of the most classic Halloween decorations include hay bales, dried cornstalks, Jack-O-Lanterns and candles, many of those items pose a huge fire risk.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, decorations ignited an estimated 860 reported home structure fires per year. Nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because they were were too close to a heat source. These fires caused an estimated average of one death, 41 injuries and $13 million in direct property damage per year. Forty-one percent of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room or den.

Whether you have a little super hero or fairy princess in tow, be sure to discuss these safety tips with your children and enjoy the evening!