Halloween Safety Tips from our Local Ottawa Police

By Ottawa Police Services October 24, 2019

Halloween night is quickly approaching when the streets will be filled with ghosts and goblins, not to mention princesses and fairies. As always, there are a few important Halloween safety guidelines that should be observed to ensure the night runs smoothly.

Around the house...

  • Many people enjoy transforming their homes into eerie scenes. Be sure to keep the path leading up to your door free of obstacles for the little ones, especially those with masks who might have trouble seeing in dim light.
  • Keep pets indoors on Halloween to protect them from hazards and preventing them from being aggressive to visitors.
  • Before you light those candles in your pumpkin, consider using inexpensive safety glow sticks . Nothing says spooky like a glowing green jack-o-lantern!


It is important that when helping a child pick out a costume, safety should be the main concern.

  • Wear a light-coloured or bright costume, reflective tape or arm bands to heighten visibility.
  • Wear a costume that is properly fitted to reduce the chance of tripping on it.
  • Select a costume that is constructed from flame-retardant materials.
  • Make sure your vision is not restricted. Consider completing your costume with make-up rather than masks. Masks may require that the eye-holes be cut larger for the sake of good peripheral vision.
  • Shoes should fit properly even if they do not go well with a costume.
  • If a child's costume requires the use of props, such as a flexible-plastic sword, make sure the sharp tip is cut or filed round.
  • Glow sticks are also an excellent method to increase a child's visibility. You might want to consider creating a fun necklace with string to ensure they will want to wear as part of their costumes.
  • Accessorize with a flashlight!

Before the kids hit the streets...

  • It is important that parents be aware of the route that their children plan to follow. If you are unable to take them out yourself, consider asking another parent, an older sibling or babysitter to do the honours for you. Ensuring your child is wearing a watch also allows you to establish an agreed upon curfew.
  • Teach your children to recognize the places along his/her route where they can obtain help: Police Station, Fire Station or any other well indicated public place.
  • Although tampering of loot is rare, remind children that they must have their candy inspected by their parents or guardian prior to eating them. See also Road Safety for child pedestrians and cyclists.

More Safety Tips for Trick or Treaters

  • Bring a flashlight;
  • Walk instead of running;
  • Stay on the sidewalks (If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left-hand side of the street facing traffic);
  • Avoid jaywalking;
  • Do not cut across lawns or take short-cuts;
  • Take masks off when walking from one house to the next;
  • Do not go inside houses and do not get into vehicles;
  • Only visit houses that are lit;
  • Stay away from animals you are not familiar with; and
  • Vandalism is not just a 'trick' - it is against the law and has consequences.

Above all, have a safe and ghoulishly good Halloween!

Reprinted with permission of the Ottawa Police Services Department.