2018-10-26 / Front Page

Tips for a safe, fun Halloween

Laura Levering
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

Children of all ages wearing an array of costumes will take over neighborhoods on Halloween, and safety officials are counting on the adults to help ensure it is a safe time for all.

Trick-or-treating on Fort Gordon will occur from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31, and is restricted to Fort Gordon residents. With the exception of Boardman Lake, all neighborhoods will be open. And with roughly 90 percent of the installation’s 1,080 homes occupied – the majority with family – it is a safe bet that the number of people out on Halloween will be in the hundreds, said Harry Bloomer, Housing supervisor, Directorate of Public Works Housing Division.

“ The neighborhoods won’t be closed, so the biggest thing is to be very careful, because there will be a lot of kids going around,” Bloomer said. “Exercise extreme caution.”

Whether you are on the prowl as a trickor treater, handing out treats, accompanying children, or plan to be on the road, there are safety tips and policies in effect that everyone should keep in mind.

Trick-or-treating is open to children of all ages, and all post policies remain in effect. Children up to 5th grade require direct supervision by an adult or babysitter who is at least in 8th grade, per Garrison Commander’s Policy Memorandum No. 15 – Supervision of Children.

Place strips of visible reflective tape on costumes, or have them wear glow sticks, and avoid wearing masks that obstruct vision.

Residents who plan to hand out treats should indicate so by turning on their porch light. Those not participating should turn off their porch light during trick-or-treat hours. Residents should also ensure the pathway to their door is clear of debris and any other potential safety hazards.

“Decorate, but make sure people have adequate space to walk through,” said Phillip Merchant, Fort Gordon garrison senior safety director. “You don’t want anyone tripping or stepping over anything to get to your doorway.”

On the flip side, do not send children into dark, under-lit residences, and advise them not to enter strangers’ homes.

“Instruct children to ring the doorbell, step back, and have the resident come to them,” Merchant said.

Fort Gordon will have an increase in law enforcement patrolling neighborhoods to reinforce safety and speed limits. The speed limit in housing areas on post is 15 mph, but considering the increased volume of pedestrians anticipated outside Halloween night, motorists should proceed with extra caution.

According to the National Safety Council, “children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.” By adhering to speed limits and taking extra caution on both sides, pedestrians and motorists, those deaths are likely preventable.

“The biggest reminder would be that children get excited about Halloween, and sometimes that will cause them to move in unpredictable ways ... chasing or running and not consider the vehicles that are in the road,” Merchant said. “It’s much the motorists’ responsibility as it is the pedestrian to keep an eye out.”

Before you head out

Stop by the Leasing Office in Olive Terrace on Oct. 31, between 3:30-5:30 p.m., for some fun and treats before stepping out into the neighborhood for a night of trick-or-treating. Bring the family and wear your costumes.

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