Halloween safety a top priority on base

The 42nd Security Forces Squadron offers safety tips for little ghouls and goblins trick-or-treating on Halloween. (Air Force graphic by Michael Paul)

The 42nd Security Forces Squadron offers safety tips for little ghouls and goblins trick-or-treating on Halloween. (Air Force graphic by Michael Paul)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- On Halloween night, children at Maxwell and Gunter will go from door to door throughout the housing areas in search of treats and fun. But, as with all events, safety must come first.

Fortunately for the Maxwell-Gunter community, when little ghosts and goblins hit the streets during the designated hours of 6 to 8 p.m., the "pumpkin patrol" will be there to ensure their protection. The 42nd Security Forces Squadron and volunteers from other organizations will make up the neighborhood-watch group. In addition to the pumpkin patrol, there are things everyone can do to protect children on Halloween night.

Staff Sgt. Kerri Chandler, NCO in charge of police services, suggests the following tips to ensure a safe Halloween night: 
  • Ensure all costumes are flame retardant. 
  • Keep costumes short enough to prevent tripping and falling. 
  • Use makeup instead of masks. Masks can be hot, uncomfortable and obstruct vision. 
  • Children should wear light colors or have reflective tape on their costumes for better nighttime visibility. 
  • Trick-or-treaters should always be in groups or accompanied by parents. 
  • Children shouldn't enter a stranger's house or car. 
  • Inspect treats at home in a well-lighted area. 
  • Children need to know not to eat their treats until they return home.
  • Only eat unopened candies in original wrappers. Don't forget to inspect fruit for anything suspicious.
"These are just a few things everyone can do to make a safe Halloween night," Sergeant Chandler said. "Also, housing residents who wish to give candy to trick-or-treaters should turn on porch lights."

Master Sgt. Sammie Girod, superintendent of plans and programs, said it is also important for motorists to take extra care on Halloween night.

"Increase your awareness, decrease your speed and keep the music down when driving around the base," The sergeant said. "There is going to be a lot of activity, especially in the housing areas, so watch and listen for the children."

Sergeant Girod said security forces will be out that night to assist all the volunteers who are providing a safe environment for the Maxwell-Gunter community.

"Halloween should be a safe and fun-filled event for children," Sergeant Chandler said. "So we should join together as a community and follow the safety rules to help keep children safe on that night."

For more information on Halloween safety, contact Sergeant Chandler at police services at 953-2767 or 953-4283.