Printed on: October 31, 2013

IFPD shares Halloween safety tips

By KIRSTEN JOHNSON
kjohnson@postregister.com

As children gear up for a rite of goblins, costumes and trick-or-treating, the Idaho Falls Police Department reminds everyone to stay safe.

To ensure trick-or-treaters are visible to motorists, police spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen advised carrying a flashlight and adding reflective tape to their costumes and trick-or-treat bags. Hansen also cautioned drivers to slow down and watch extra carefully as kids meander through the streets.

"When people put on costumes, they're harder to see at night," Hansen said. "If you put something on that gives you some kind of a reflection, it will help you stay visible."

She reminded children to walk, not run, no matter how eager they might be to collect candy.

"Yeah, you're excited, but if you're running in the dark, then you won't see anything in front of you," she said. "You might trip over the sidewalk."

Pets, Hansen said, should stay confined. She also said to make sure pets have proper identification.

"Pets may not be used to having strangers come to the door," she said. "If they're not used to a lot of visitors coming and going, they might jump out when the door opens and you're distracted by trick-or-treaters."

Halloween party-goers, Hansen said, should find a designated driver ahead of time.

"This is the night where people go out, have a good time and might drink," she said. "So having someone who is a designated driver is important. Or, if your party is at a hotel, think about staying at the hotel for the night to sober up."

Hansen also cautioned women in particular to be aware of personal safety while out.

"Be aware of your surroundings," she said. "Particularly if you're taking personal belongings, make sure they stay in the trunk or in a certain place where they'll be kept secure."

For more safety tips, visit the National Crime Prevention Council's website, ncpc .org.

Reporter Kirsten Johnson can be reached at 542-6757.