As Halloween fast approaches, CAL FIRE wants to remind everyone that we’re never really out of the woods when it comes to fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NAPA), decorations are the first thing to ignite in roughly 800 reported home fires each year. While many spooky decorations may be festive, they’re also flammable.
Although it may be fall, the season doesn't matter as much as our recent weather patterns. Due to periods of dry conditions, the fuels are still highly flammable.
"It is ready to burn. We can have a fairly significant fire, even now," explained Adan Orozco, public information officer for CAL FIRE SLO.
The most frequent culprits are jack-o'-lanterns or faulty holiday lights. For safety, kill the candle and opt for a light bulb in pumpkins. It's something local father, Christopher Waithe, is already doing.
"We usually use a plastic light, one that you don’t have to light, you don’t have to ignite. You pretty much just put a light inside of it and it has the same effect," said Waithe.
Harvest decorations like hay, straw and cornstalks are all highly flammable. Decorations next to an open flame or strings of light could become dangerous and when picking out a costume, check for flame retardant material. All things that Taylor Johnson, another local dad, says are afterthoughts.
"Honestly, it’s a secondary thought. So many people are worried about what’s going in the candy or what houses you’re going to and who’s behind that door that no one is really worried about the pumpkin or the lights on those houses," said Johnson.