DPD offers Halloween safety tips

It may be time for ghouls, goblins, tricks and treats, but the Demopolis Police Department is urging Halloween observers to be safe during the holiday.

“I would tell kids to wear light clothes. Do not eat candy prior to getting back home. Have somebody check the candy out and make sure it is safe. Any kind of fruit that is given to you by anybody, don’t eat it. I would discard that kind of stuff because it is unsafe,” Demopolis Police Department Chief Tommie Reese said. “We want everybody to have a good time but we live in a different day and time now where people do strange things to hurt people.”

Reese advised that trick-or-treating should take place from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night. DPD officer will be patrolling the city to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters as well as to keep an eye on would-be pranksters.

“Our officers will be out riding around to make sure everybody is having a safe and fun Halloween,” Reese said. “I’m going to have several officers out, some on overtime to help cover shifts and make sure I’ve got coverage over the whole entire city. We should have enough officers riding secondary streets to make sure that we don’t have any problems.”

The department also released its annual list of safety tips for Halloween.

• Children should have all treats carefully inspected before eating.

• Children should accept treats only at the doorway.

• Never enter a stranger’s home.

• Never invite children to enter your home.

• Children should never accept rides from strangers.

• Children should never take shortcuts through backyards or alleyways.

• Set a time limit for your children to be out on Halloween night.

• Children should travel in groups of three to five people.

• Adults should escort children while they trick-or-treat.

• Adult escorts and children should carry flashlights if possible.

• All fruit should be discarded unless you know the source is safe.

• Keep pets inside your home, or another safe place, on Halloween night.

• Children should walk and never run during trick-or-treating.

• Parents should know what route their children are taking within the neighborhood.

• All costumes should be made of light-colored, fire-proof, preferably reflectorized material.

• Props such as toy guns or swords should be make of pliable material.

• Realistic replica firearms should NEVER be used.

• Masks should only be worn if they are properly fitted and provide unobstructed breathing and visibility.

• Children should always use sidewalks and not the streets for walking.

• Children should look in all directions before crossing the street.