Area police departments are offering safety tips for Halloween. Residents are being urged to use care on Monday to help ensure the safety of children celebrating Halloween.
Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith says face paint is safer than a mask for costumes, but if a child is wearing a mask parents are asked to make sure it has adequate holes for proper vision and breathing. Trick-or-treaters are being reminded to avoid dark, unlighted houses and not to go to the door of a house that seems unoccupied or has no outside lights on.
Trick-or-Treaters are encouraged to wear some sort of reflective clothing, carry a flashlight or glow stick, walk on the sidewalk or on the left side of the road facing traffic and young children should always be accompanied by an adult. Older children should always travel in pairs or groups. They are asked to not go down dark, empty streets and let parents know their route. Smith is urging trick-or-treaters to take safety precautions while they're out, and also when they get home. He encouraged parents to inspect all candy and throw away all unwrapped or opened candy or suspicious looking goodies.
He also issued safety tips to avoid fire hazards. Those tips include keeping jack-o-lanterns out of the reach of small children and away from flammable materials.
The Sheriff's Department, New York State Police and local departments will have an increased number of patrols on duty during the evening of October 31st. Community organizations will also have volunteer members out to act as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.
Smith says causing mischief and damaging or defacing other people's property are negative activities that will be prosecuted. He reminds residents that an empty house on Halloween is an invitation to trouble so if you have to leave your house, make sure all the doors are locked.