Safety Tips for a Wet Halloween

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City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:
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News Release

October 31, 2013

Safety tips for a wet Halloween in Toronto

With the current wet weather and more of it anticipated for Halloween tonight, the City of Toronto is advising everyone to take extra caution when travelling and trick-or-treating tonight.

Heavy rain and high winds are forecast, and with shorter daylight hours at this time of the year, visibility will be limited while children are out later today. Drivers will need to drive slowly and with extra caution throughout the day and evening. Motorists should also drive slowly through any areas of ponding, especially near sidewalks where pedestrians are present.

Transportation Services staff are working today to keep catch basins clear, particularly where there have been problems in the past. Residents are asked to assist in cleaning catch basins on their streets if possible. With leaves falling at this time of year, catch basins can become clogged, resulting in street flooding.

People should stay away from rivers today and exercise caution around all bodies of water.

Toronto's paramedics and firefighters also want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy Halloween tonight, and offer parents and guardians the following tips to help prevent fires and injuries:

• Check labels to ensure that costumes are flame resistant.
• Children should wear bright and reflective costumes, preferably without a mask or hood that can impair vision. Carrying a flashlight is recommended.
• Avoid costumes that have baggy pants and billowing skirts, which can come in contact with lit candles and, combined with shoes that are too big, can make it easier for trick-or-treaters to trip and fall.
• Teach children the following sequence to put out a fire: STOP immediately, DROP to the ground covering the face, and ROLL over and over to extinguish flames.
• Teach children to call 911 if they experience a fire or medical emergency and to always look both ways before crossing the street.
• Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Use battery-powered electric candles to decorate pumpkins.
• Have fun decorating but don't overload electrical outlets. Keep exit doors clear and check to make sure extension cords are not a trip hazard.
• At the end of the night, check labels on candy brought home for any ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction to someone in the house, and dispose of any such items.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Media contacts:
Toronto Fire Services: District Chief Peter Derrington, 416-338-9418
Toronto Emergency Medical Services: Kim McKinnon, Superintendent, Public Information and Media, 416-392-2255
Transportation Services: Steve Johnston, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-392-4391sjohnsto@toronto.ca

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